Inside the Eclectic Bahamas Art Collection at Rosewood Baha Mar

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It’s hard not to notice the impressive collection of art at Rosewood Baha Mar, the sophisticated and tropical-chic resort inside the sprawling Baha Mar resort in the Bahamas. For many guests, the first thing they notice is the large, hand-painted mural, which stretches from the floor to the ceiling of the lobby, before splitting in two directions to the east and west towers of the hotel. . The mural — a bygone island landscape of floating palm trees, puffy clouds, and wooden cottages with airy verandas — does an expert job of setting the tone for the gorgeous 237-Key property. It’s undeniably beautiful here, but more than that, it’s carefree, airy and light. It’s easy to slow down and feel like you have nothing to do at the Rosewood Baha Mar.

While the fine art of the entrance mural is entrusted to 14 artists from New York’s Silver Hill Atelier, the source of the work is closer to home. It was a painting by John Hussey, a local artist whose work can also be found in Rosewood Baha Mar, that dictated the subject and style of the mural, and getting this right would prove paramount to the conservation of the rest of the property.

“The mural inspired the art collection at Rosewood Baha Mar,” says John Cox, Creative Art Director of Rosewood Baha Mar and local mixed media artist. “John Hussey’s painting captured the tone and feeling of what we wanted to develop for the space, but when it came time to organize the rest of the areas, I thought it would be interesting to expand the content of the mural in a fictional space, in which the works could find meaning and a place through the viewer’s imagination.

The hotel has around 100 diverse works of art by 25 artists from around the world, ranging in age from 21 to 88. In The Library, a custom modern abstract, developed by Silver Hill Atelier and John Cox, echoes the soft, natural palette of Nassau. In the lobby, an enormous Damien Hirst butterfly mandala (on sale for $1.9 million) shines as bright as the Caribbean sun. In the glamorous new Café Boulud, the brightly colored folk art of Amos Ferguson steals the show. The hallways are lined with multimedia pieces by Nassau-born Kendra Frorup, featuring 3D sugar apples and abstract masterpieces by Kendal Hanna, the Bahamas’ first Abstract Expressionist. Everywhere you look there is something interesting.

“Art brings life wherever it is,” says Cox. “Hotels are generally not spaces for contemplation or serious artistic reflection, so my motivation was to create a space where no one would ever expect to have the opportunity to contemplate, reflect or explore on this level. For the curious and creative souls who visit the resort, I pray that they leave feeling different, in the best way.

Inspiring guests is not an easy thing for a hotel to do, but Rosewood, with its self-imposed mandate to create “a sense of place” (the brand’s official slogan), manages to do it. From the moment you arrive and receive a Sky Juice welcome cocktail of coconut milk and gin for the first time, you know you are somewhere special and you know you are in the Bahamas. Even guest rooms feature distinctive pieces like pastel circular fans and wall-mounted pottery, sourced from the extensive collection of The Current Gallery and Art Center, Baha Mar’s on-site gallery, studio, and boutique. It’s not all modern or all traditional, but the hotel’s aesthetic does a fantastic job of avoiding romanticized colonial trappings. “I was trying to marry the best of the old and the new world of the Bahamas,” Cox says of the curation. “There is so much rich history in the Bahamas that is rooted in the fabric of our landscape and our people. My goal was to reach multiple generations and expose the essence of life in the Bahamas.

The details:

Rooms at the Rosewood Baha Mar start at $850. Guests can also book a weekly art tour of the complex with John Cox and visit the current gallery and Baha Mar Art Center.

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