Once again, Le Meridien Hotel in the heart of Center City Philadelphia has opened its lobby to curator Gaby Heit and a collection of local artists. Allan Espiritu, Sara McCorriston, Michele Tremblay, Dolores Poacelli, Lyn Godley, Chris Landau and Arden Bendler Browning all present works in the show from the design heavy flowers of Tremblay, to the text-based work of Espiritu and the fluttering installation reaching three stories high by Godley, the work ranges in presentation and arrangement, often blending into the hotel's décor, but sometimes at odds with it.
Breaking the unwritten design rule of not using more than a couple fonts in any composition, Allan Espiritu portrays his colorful and positive messages with a plethora of textual styles for his twin pieces “Sweeter and Sweet” and “Deeper and Deeper.” They read 'It gets sweeter and sweeter the more that I know' and 'I fall deeper and deeper the further that I go' respectively, lending their back-lit green and orange gradient backgrounds with an enormous boost of self-esteem and cheer that is more than welcome to weary travelers and busy businesspeople.
In the atrium, Lyn Godley's many black and white frames of birds in mid-flight extend high into the sky by way of the overhanging balconies. They resemble film strips in their lengthy stretches of alternating shots, although none of the adjacent frames seem to be consecutive, owing to the installation's flurry of movement and disregard for the linear march of time.
Michele Tremblay constructs gigantic, dangling white flowers which appear to bloom from various spots on the wooden walls around the space. Their loose, round forms mimic the structures that typically attract bees and other pollinators with their bright hues, but here they are unsaturated and emphasize composition alone. Attached with twine far above on the ceiling, they hang more like necklaces than actual plants and appear more like porcelain than nectar-filled blossoms.
A video monitor behind the lobby's bar plays a loop of strange images by Chris Landau and Arden Bendler Browning as part of the Knight Arts grantee project “Animated Architecture” curated by Sean Stoops. These projections are meant to be cast onto the sides of historic Philadelphia structures, but in the context of the hotel, they provide a sort of digital painting that ebbs and flows along with the more static works in the show.
While the placement of these pieces originally coincided with DesignPhiladelphia, they will be on display at Le Meridien for the remainder of the month.
Le Meridien Hotel is located at 1421 Arch St., Philadelphia; 215-422-8200; starwoodhotels.com/lemeridien/index.html.