In the autumn of 2017, Innisfree Hotels opened Luna Fine Art Gallery at Hilton Pensacola Beach as its newest project of significance to The Hive.
Art has always held great meaning and allure for our founders Julian and Kim MacQueen, who have brought this dream to life alongside Gallery Directors Lisa Puzon and Shaughnessy Johnson.
Luna Fine Art Gallery offers a space for local and regional artists to display their works of art on Pensacola Beach. In line with the Hilton brand’s mission for reflecting the global while celebrating the local, the gallery’s permanent collection was curated by Lisa and Shaughnessy, who have served as Visiting Artists in Residence on another Hive project at Dixon School of the Arts.
Shaughnessy Johnson is an art dealer and an artist in his own right, who has been collected and represented. Lisa Puzon is an art educator and therapist. The duo use their passion to serve the community – and visitors who travel here.
“I don’t remember being able to not do art or make art. That’s part of what made me a whole person,” Lisa says. “I love using arts for healing. I am fully aware of the power of the arts.”
Downtown Pensacola is a hub for the arts scene, but Luna represents a new foray for Pensacola Beach.
“Our purpose is bringing people together and inspiring and connecting them … bringing awareness to some of the social and environmental issues out there,” Lisa shares. “That’s what motivates us as part of The Hive.”
When the gallery’s first works were installed, guests began to move through the hallways more slowly, visibly reflecting upon each piece. Gallery Directors witnessed a couple so moved, they were holding each other in front of one display. A guest in a wheelchair asked the person pushing him to slow down so he could enjoy the artwork.
“I read an article during our research about having art in hotels that used the phrase, ‘where art and hospitality intermingle’,” Lisa recalls. “That’s exactly what happens here. We want to give our guests that experience.”
Indeed, there is something about the arts that connects people. Suddenly they want to talk and ask questions. This is why Innisfree has chosen to create the Luna Gallery.
As a project of The Hive, Gallery Directors will seek out artists who have a statement to make or have given back to the community through their work. Rotating exhibits will change with the seasons, giving hotel guests and art lovers an opportunity to appreciate new works and discover new artists.
“In a world where you’re always busy rushing, it gives you time – even if it’s temporary – just to relax,” Lisa says. “That short walk through the hotel can change your whole perspective.”
To learn more about Luna Fine Art Gallery, visit the Luna Fine Art Gallery website.