Transforming a Hotel Lobby into an Art Gallery

Innisfree’s Modern Contemporary Children’s Art Gallery

The stylish, social lobby of the Hilton Pensacola Beach has always been beautiful – with bright whites and cool blues like harbingers of the water and sand just beyond its back door. In 2015, it became even more beautiful when the Hilton created a children’s art gallery in Pensacola Beach, Fla., displaying work by students from Dixon School of the Arts.

Visiting artists-in-residence to Dixon from Atlanta, Ga., Lisa Puzon and Shaughnessy Johnson had been sponsored by Innisfree Hotels to attend a workshop on arts integration with the Florida Alliance for Arts Education. While there, Puzon says, they were particularly inspired by one museum featuring children’s work from summer art camps.

Realizing there were no children’s galleries in Pensacola, the two suggested to Hilton General Manager Gina Dudley that the hotel lobby would be a wonderful venue for displaying such work.

And the walls went up.

The first exhibit features four projects from the 2015-2016 Dixon school year: Photography, Ink & Paper, Wire Art and Nail Art.

The students have been studying the elements and principles of art,” Puzon says. “These projects were designed to provide ways in which they can express them through different art forms.”

The Hilton has provided an important place for Dixon students to showcase their incredible work. As the hotel installed the exhibit, guests were inquisitive – watching and asking questions, and even taking photographs of their own.

“Everyone was amazed that 4th through 8th graders created the work,” Puzon shares. “The Innisfree Gallery for Children has made a great impact by connecting hotel guests with a school from an underserved community and creating a bridge through the arts.”

All proceeds from the sale of artwork benefit Innisfree Hotels’ ongoing fundraising efforts for Dixon School of the Arts, a project of significance to Innisfree’s Corporate Social Responsibility Program, The Hive.

“Innisfree has sponsored us as resident artists to teach at Dixon School of the Arts for the past four years,” Johnson explains. “Each year we witnessed the students showing increased confidence and higher self-esteem, alongside growing aptitudes and advancing skill levels.”

View Innisfree’s Modern Contemporary Art Gallery in the lobby of the Hilton Pensacola Beach. Learn more about our work with Dixon School of the Arts here.