We would like to welcome you to our hotel – and to the great state of Iowa! Our hotel is housed within the historic Putnam building. We proudly showcase local and regional art throughout the hotel, and each guest room is filled with unique works by midwestern artists! Every room has a piece of glass made by students of the local nonprofit group Hot Glass, a one-of-a-kind ceramic sculpture by Steve Jones, and a combination of original paintings and prints from many other regional artists.
The tag found in your room is one of many located throughout the hotel to guide you on your own independent tour of our art collection! If you’re interested in a guided, behind-the-scenes look, stop by the front desk to schedule a tour with a member of our creative team! Or, feel free to send an email to the team directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
Explore below to find out more about the art in your room:
Above: from his Reserve series, print on canvas, both 12 x 8″ // Simpler Times, framed print on canvas, 29.5 x 15.5″
Tom Clements has had a passion for photography since 1977, when he got his first 35mm camera. Clements was driven by a life-long dream to be in National Geographic magazine. As an adult, Clements has rekindled his love for photography, and has spent years traveling the world to capture a diversity of images. The Midwestern landscape has played an especially important role in shaping Clements’ career; the images in our collection reflect the nostalgia and authenticity Clements sees in the midwest. Currently residing with his family in Tennessee, Clements is continuing his photographic career and travels. After a trip to Africa, Tom had one of his images featured in National Geographic – a dream come true!
Fun Fact: 35mm film was first produced in 1892 by Thomas Edison and William Dickson, and mainly served commercial use. 35mm film did not become mainstream until about 1925, used in the Leica I compact camera.
Above: selections from the Danceprints series, framed prints, 43 x 35″
We have several of Minnesota-based artist Erik Saulitis’ works in our two fitness centers at The Current Iowa. These beautiful photos offer a new look at the human body, and serve as inspiring portraits for our gym-goers. Erik has been involved with both visual and performance art for years, and has found a way to perfectly blend the two forms. The images he captures are the result of collaborations between himself, choreographers, and dancers. Erik shoots in a studio where he has ultimate control of the lighting; there is no photoshop used in these images. This artistic control is exercised throughout his process, from initial conception to the framing of the final print.
See more of Erik Saulitis’ magical photographs on his website: danceprints.com.
Fun Fact: The human body, as well as many other living organisms, glows in the dark! Our bodies are constantly emitting biophotons that cause our bodies to illuminate. However, the human eye is too weak to see this aura; the light we emit is about 1/1000 times weaker than the human eye can process.
Left: Pure Elegance from his series The Kiss: Homage to Rodin, stainless steel
Andre Tourette is a sculptor who has lived all over the United States, but has found roots in the midwestern city of St. Louis. His background is working on naval ships and yachts as a metal welder, and also has experience in producing commercial products for businesses and architectural firms. Andre has been welding since he was 15 years old, and his passion has only grown stronger. Most of his creations are made using scraps from commercial commissions; Pure Elegance was made using a long continuous scrap of stainless steel, which Andre then etched, polished, and rolled to form. This specific work of art was part of a series of stainless steel sculptures made in reference to the sculptor Auguste Rodin, specifically Rodin’s The Kiss. Pure Elegance seems to defy gravity while defining two forms in a romantic embrace. The steel follows a natural ebb and flow, and the etching on the surface catches light in different ways as you move around the sculpture.
Andre’s works can be seen in businesses and private collections across the country, but he also sells some of his work through his Etsy shop. Be sure to follow Andre The Sculptor on Facebook!
Fun Fact: Stainless steel is one of the most recycled materials on the planet! About 88% of the world’s steel is recycled, and 2 out of every 3 tons of stainless steel produced today was made from recycled steel!
Above: from her Bubbles series, glass // from her Wave series, glass
Susan Haas creates visually and conceptually intriguing works of handblown glass. Her works primarily focus on water, movement, and aquatic elements. The focus on water and its characteristics is particularly interesting for glass works; sand is a vital ingredient for making glass, and sand is the result of water and weather processes breaking down quartz and other minerals. So the creation of the glass, then melting it down to a liquid state, creating a form that resembles liquid water, and hardening the glass back into a solid state is a process filled with conceptual connections.
Susan Haas has a beautiful collection of her glass works featured on her website: susanhaasglass.com
Fun Fact: Glass is technically always in a liquid state – the super-cooled particles move extremely slowly. Glass does not actually have a solid or gaseous state, so some refer to glass as existing in a ‘fourth state of matter’.
Above from left to right: from the Sign Language series, I, II, III, VI, VII, X, all print on canvas, 40 x 53″ each
Kelli Ellis has been drawing her whole life. As a featured artist at LeftBank art, Kelli Ellis is able to continue her pursuit of art and design at a professional level. At The Current Iowa, we have 6 pieces from her Sign Language collection – I, II, III, VI,VII, & X. This series was inspired in part by the artists grandfather; he was a decorated FBI agent, and often regaled Ellis with tales of early forensics and the development of finger printing techniques. Over time, Ellis expanded upon these memories to create a series filled with designs reminiscent of the swirls and individuality of fingerprints.
Ellis has the entire series, as well as her other works, on her website!
Fun Fact: Francisca Rojas is thought to be the first guilty conviction based on fingerprint evidence. He was charged with murder in Argentina in 1892.
Top Left: Signpost #2, print of micro pen on paper, 18 x 22″ // Top Right: Bookshelf #8, print of micro pen on paper, 18 x 22″ // Above: Watching Tree, print of micro pen on paper, 38 x 26″
Eli Helman has won awards for his insanely detailed pen and ink drawings. These works are often influenced by his other passions, including nature, animals, and music. While some basic idea of the final product is formed prior to the start of a drawing, the majority of the patterns and delicate details are filled in spontaneously; this stream of consciousness style aids in the whimsical and musical nature of Eli’s works. Eli has dubbed his unique style ‘Maximalism’ – his extreme attention to detail and compositional balance results in an all-over drawing that is far from Minimalism.
Fun Fact: Wassily Kandinsky, one of Eli Helman’s influences, is widely regarded as the founder of pure abstract painting. Also influenced by the abstract nature of music, Kandinsky often referred to his abstract works as improvisations and compositions.