May 16, 2018

Curated by Suzi Cordish, the Live Hotel will display art from Warhol, other well-known artists

Guests checking in at the soon-to-open Live Hotel will be able to peruse a miniature museum of sorts as they wait for their room keys.

From floating mesh cloud sculptures to colorful video art installations, the 310-room luxury hotel and conference center in the works next to Hanover's Live Casino will be home to 41 contemporary works from well-known artists like Andy Warhol and Mel Bochner.

Suzi Cordish, wife of Live Hotel developer and Cordish Cos. CEO David Cordish, is curating the collection. Tuesday, she was at the $200 million hotel to oversee the installation of a piece from local artist Chul Hyun Ahn, a MICA graduate who continues to work in Baltimore.

"It's really a showstopper," Cordish said as she watched Ahn take measurements and drill holes to hang the light-up work, which will be on display next to the lobby elevators.

The collection will feature a mix of local and international artists, but Cordish said she wanted to highlight Ahn's work, titled "Void," because of his Baltimore ties.

"This is part of our story," she said. "It's intriguing, it's very intelligent and I love that he's from the region."

Cordish has spent the past three-and-a-half years acquiring art for the hotel, which is slated to open May 22 as the flagship in a new chain that the Cordish Cos. plans to replicate across the country. As the model for the new luxury hotel brand, Live's decor had to stand out, she said.

"There's a 'wow' factor to every piece and that's kind of the experience," said Cordish, the longtime board chair of the Maryland Art Place. "It was so important to us to have really the best of the best of contemporary artists throughout the collection, because we really feel this is going to be a 5-star hotel that's going to be world-class."

Future Live hotels will also feature curated art displays, she said. The value of the Hanover hotel's collection is not being disclosed.

The pieces will be scattered throughout the hotel's public spaces.

"Game of Skill and Chance," a 2017 video installation by Brooklyn-based artist Chris Doyle, greets visitors as they enter the hotel through Live Casino, flashing images of multicolored cards in a nod to the games of chance that are played there.

"Botanic 3," a 10-foot-high by 17-foot-wide installation by Jennifer Steinkamp, hangs above the reception desk, showing off a loop of bright flowers converging and dissolving on an LED screen. Nine mesh cloud sculptures from artist Mei Ling Hom float above David's, the hotel's new restaurant from celebrity chef Todd English.

The Warhol piece, "$9: one plate," comes from the pop artist's famous Dollar Signs series and will hang in the VIP services room, where high-rolling casino guests check in to their hotel rooms. "Untitled (1301 L)" by French artist Yves Oppenheim is also on display there.

With the collection, Live Hotel joins other area hotels with a focus on art, though it boasts perhaps the most recognizable names among its roster of artists. Mount Vernon's recently opened Hotel Revival features works by local artists inside each of its rooms, while the Sagamore Pendry in Fells Point also highlights local artwork, including another piece by Ahn.

Cordish said the collection will be another one of Live's amenities.

"I think it's critical to have artwork that is exciting to see," she said.

It also provides exposure for artists.

"They know more eyeballs are going to see their work in this environment than in any gallery or museum," Cordish said.

She plans to bring in school and community groups to tour the collection.

"It's so intimate to be able to go right up to it and talk about" the works, she said.

Though she's been a lifelong art collector, this is Cordish's first large-scale curatorial project.

"I've never done it for a property of this size, of this level," she said. "The scale of everything is just bigger and bolder."

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