Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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Ten Asheville artists will be featured in the new AC Hotel, which is under construction at the corner of Broadway and College streets. The hotel is a nine-story, 132-room brand by Marriott scheduled to open later this fall. The McKibbon Hospitality project has a four-story parking deck with 336 spaces, a top-floor meeting space and a rooftop bar. It’s the latest Asheville hotel by owner John McKibbon, who owns several hotels in town, including the Aloft Hotel on Biltmore Avenue.

Here’s the press release:

Leading hotel development and management company celebrates Asheville art community through unique program

McKibbon Hospitality today announced that its AC Hotel Asheville Downtown will feature the work of ten local and regional artists in its public spaces, guestrooms and suites. The unique program is part of McKibbon’s commitment to creating top-notch guest experiences in its hotels and will bring a local flair to the hotel, while celebrating Asheville’s thriving art community. The AC Hotel Asheville Downtown will be the first AC Hotel by Marriott in the Carolinas and is set to open in early 2017 at the corner of College and Broadway.

The AC Hotel art program is part of McKibbon Hospitality’s broader art collection, which is comprised of pieces specifically commissioned for its various hotel properties. The art is coordinated by Asheville-based Art Resources consultant Liz Barr and final selections are made by McKibbon Hospitality Chairman John McKibbon. McKibbon’s vision complements the AC Hotel by Marriott brand mission of incorporating unique design elements into each of its properties. “Celebrating Asheville’s culture and diverse community is at the core of our vision for the AC Hotel Asheville Downtown,” said John McKibbon. “By incorporating the work of talented local artists, we are able to bring even more of Asheville’s character into the hotel to create a truly special experience for guests and locals.”

The hotel will feature the following local artists:
• Cassie Ryalls Butcher is a studio artist at Curve Studios in Asheville’s River Arts District and specializes in ceramic sculpture. Each of her sculptures is hand-built, textured individually and glazed to create a one-of-a-kind piece. Her work will be featured in the hotel’s rooftop garden.

• Colby Caldwell’s work has been shown nationally and internationally since 1988. The physicality of traditional photography is the driving force behind Caldwell’s work, which parallels his dedication to the use of digital imaging. His work will be found in the hotel’s guestrooms.

• Fred and Kato Guggenheim began their art careers in Italy, have studied and taught courses at prestigious schools in the United States and Germany and today operate a gallery in downtown Asheville. Their prints, paintings and sculptures are found in numerous national and international collections. The Guggenheim’s work will be featured in the hotel’s front entry area, lobby and on its ninth floor.

• Billy Guilford and Geoff Koslow have decades of experience in glassblowing and currently own Lexington Glassworks in downtown Asheville. Both are graduates of the internationally recognized Alfred University and have traveled extensively to study with some of the best glass artists and technicians in the world. Their work will be featured in the hotel’s ninth floor meeting space.

• Hoss Haley is an Asheville-based sculptor who creates large-scale two and three-dimensional works made of steel, concrete and bronze. His work is heavily influenced by the western landscape of his youth. Haley’s work will be featured in the hotel’s main dining area.

• Carl Pittman specializes in creating unique sculptures and wooden bowls using dynamic energy patterns as his inspiration. His work can be found in collections across the country. In the hotel, his work will be featured in the hotel lobby and outside of the AC Library.

• Virginia Scotchie is an Asheville native and now serves as the head of the ceramics department at the University of South Carolina. Scotchie is considered one of the foremost ceramic artists in the country, and her work is in many national and international private and public collections. Her artwork will be featured on the hotel’s ninth floor rooftop.

• Constance Williams’ encaustic paintings are found in homes and businesses around the world and have been featured by QVC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and a number of other national media outlets. Her work will be found in the hotel’s ninth floor lobby area.

The hotel will feature the following regional artists:
• Greg Fidler has worked in studios from Maine to Seattle and now has a studio in Bakersville, NC. He specializes in unique, hand-blown glass sculptures that communicate progression while paying respect to traditional processes. His work will be found in the hotel’s AC Library.

• Pablo Soto lives, works and operates a studio in Penland, NC. He has received numerous awards for his hand-blown glass sculptures and has taught courses at a number of prestigious art schools. In the hotel, his work will be featured in the AC Library.

The AC Hotel Asheville Downtown will boast 132 upscale rooms and European-inspired public spaces including a ninth floor reserved for dining, meetings and a spectacular rooftop bar with indoor and outdoor seating, all overlooking amazing views of the surrounding mountains. The rooftop bar, Capella on 9, will offer perfectly made cocktails, wine and beer, and a thoughtfully curated menu of small plates, including a selection of Mediterranean-inspired tapas, as well as daily breakfast. McKibbon Hospitality is collaborating with local restaurateurs Peter and Martha Pollay on the AC Hotel’s food and beverage program.

To learn more about the AC Hotel Asheville Downtown visit here. To learn more about McKibbon Hospitality, visit

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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