Skift Take

Indiewalls’ greatest feature for hotels is the ability to constantly offer guests something new and distinctive with minimal outlay and very little work.

Hotels are searching for new ways to attract guests, create buzz, and set themselves apart from the competition. Many have turned to the world of fashion and are hosting runway shows and branding themselves in designer labels, while others have focused on adding more local flavor to hotel design. Artwork; however, is another way for hotels to improve their style and offer guests something different.

In steps Indiewalls. Indiewalls is an online marketplace and service that connects hotels with local artists to coordinate three-month art exhibits that provide hotels with a constantly updated art collection, and gives guests the opportunity to buy local art and interact with artists.

It’s important to find venues and artists that are excited about the idea and to share the space.

How it works

Hotels pay a monthly subscription fee anywhere between $200 and $1,000 to work with Indiewalls. Hotels can then coordinate with curator Tamara Weg to select a local artist or can look through artists’ work themselves on Indiewalls’ online gallery for a more hands-on role in the curation process.

After the artwork is hung, a QR code is placed in the corner of each piece so that hotel guests can snap the code with their smartphones and purchase the piece immediately online.

Local is unique when you’re from out of town

The New York-based startup plans to maintain a hyperlocal service in each city, giving hotels the opportunity to display artwork that would otherwise be difficult to find from the surrounding area.

This also gives hotels the opportunity to host art showings with the artists. New York’s Renaissance Hotel, one of the first hotels to work with Indiewalls, is planning an art exhibition to encourage guests to spend an evening in the hotel and see it as more than just a place to sleep.

Why Indiewalls is focusing on hotels first

Indiewalls is also partnering with cafes and restaurants, but has found hotels to be the most enthusiastic about creating opportunities for their clients to see and buy art. Partnerships with chains also help Indiewalls expand to other cities. As the site and brand grow, CEO Gavi Wolf would like to see Indiewalls art hanging in lobbies of residential buildings, airport lounges, and cruise ports.

Hotels to promote Indiewalls art to attract guests

The site’s biggest challenge has been creating a marketplace that hasn’t previously existed. It hopes that by creating a trust-worthy brand, consumers will be drawn to venues that carry Indiewalls art and even choose participating hotels for the exposure to local art in a foreign city.

New York hotels that have hosted Indiewalls exhibits are Thompson Hotels and Tribeca Grand Hotel, while Marriott’s Renaissance Hotels is still in the planning stages. New Yorkers can check an exhibit today in Dream New York. Indiewalls completed Dreamit’s summer accelerator program and is in the middle of raising a $1 million dollar round of funding.

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Tags: arts & culture, design, local

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