Art & Nature

Wrightsville Beach Magazine May 2013

Fascinating clear glass tendrils welcome guests across the threshold of The Umstead, a AAA Five Diamond hotel, restaurant and spa. Resembling, in an abstract way, a heron dipping its beak into the water, the piece was named “Ardea Figura,” or figure of the heron, by its creator Dale Chihuly, America’s preeminent hand-blown glass sculptor. Guests immediately see the sculpture upon entering the lobby. It draws them into the warmth of the Lobby Lounge toward a sunroom, the terrace, the pool, the wedding lawn, the lake and its center- piece, the fountain. “It was intentional,” says Marcelle Kick, The Umstead’s Hotel Design Coordinator. “The design theme, from the beginning, was art in nature,” Kick says. “When they started to put the collection together, they really wanted the outdoors reflected inside in terms of the artwork, the colors and the overall feel that you get with the peace and tranquility of the setting where the hotel is. It all works together as sort of a marriage of the outdoors and the inside.” The Umstead’s owners, Ann and Jim Goodnight, traveled to Tacoma, Washington, to visit the Chihuly team after commissioning it to create a piece similar to one that Ann Goodnight had seen at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York City. While in Washington, they visited several galleries and brought back a few pieces now exhibited in the Fireplace Room and the Promenade, but primarily The Umstead collection is the work of North Carolina artists. “Ardea Figura,” or figure of a heron, by glass sculptor Dale Chihuly, left, is the centerpiece of The Umstead Hotel and Spa’s Lobby Lounge. Harpists perform during high tea in the 16 Fireplace Room, right. WBM may 2013


Wrightsville Beach Magazine May 2013
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