Sense of place - Art 3 coordinated local artists for Hilton Garden Inn

By Heidi Masek,

A good place to see local art these days is the new Hilton Garden Inn in Manchester, which opened adjacent to the Fisher Cats’ stadium this year. Lee Forgosh of Art 3 Gallery, 44 W. Brook St., Manchester, has 26 years in the art consulting business. She worked with Susan Pollio of the Roedel Companies, the owner and developer of the Hilton Garden Inn, on commissioning and choosing local art for the hotel’s interior.

“When we first started the design process for this hotel two and a half years ago, I knew from the start there was nothing typical about the building and the artwork could not be typical either.... Not only do we feature original artwork from well-known artists, including the highly anticipated 50-square-foot “baseball mural” by Jim Burke, we are hoping to feature a gallery of local students’ artwork in the future as well. It is our hope that the community will look to us as mini-gallery in the area who supports the artist community of southern New Hampshire,” Pollio wrote in an e-mail. Manchester scenes in warm tones were reprinted for all the hotel guest rooms and bedrooms. The common areas feature reproductions of historical Manchester baseball photos and original art.

“It really makes me proud to walk into the building and see what they [the Roedels] wanted to do ... what they wanted to give to Manchester,” Forgosh said.

Manchester native Timothy Craig painted an acrylic of a Manchester scene in warm, gold tones. It was transferred to prints that are displayed in each of the 125 guest bathrooms. Dianne Levine of Massachusetts, who is active in southern New Hampshire art organizations, created two pastels of Manchester scenes.

Those prints also hang in each room. Forgosh worked with the Manchester Historical Association to get permission to reprint photographs depicting Manchester baseball players. The grouping gives the lobby and patio area an “old, clubby kind of feel,” she said.

The major work that will tentatively be installed in July is a five-foot by ten-foot canvas being painted by Jim Burke, who is “Manchester born and bred,” for the lobby. The scene will portray old-fashioned baseball players in a “Rockwellish” style. In fact, Burke will be teaching at the Rockwell Museum in the Berkshires. A multimedia painting by Lisa Occhipinti, a Bedford native, also hangs in the lobby. “It’s totally abstract...a really great piece,” Forgosh said. Manchester artist John Lacz’s metal sculptures are coated in an automotive kind of finish so that they seem to change color when viewed from different angles. A large abstract Lacz piece hangs above a fireplace in the hotel lobby.

Dustan Knight, known for watercolors in New Hampshire, painted a watercolor on board that hang above the reception desk, while Stan Moeller, who teaches at New Hampshire Institute of Art, produced an oil of an ocean scene that hangs near a fireplace. There’s one more piece that is almost finished – a photo montage of Manchester landmarks that digital artist Alhan Irwin is assembling with photos from Irene Dupont of Manchester for the breakfast area.

The Roedel Companies founder also founded Susse Chalet, which was sold in 2000. The company is based in Wilton.

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