MILWAUKEE -- Closed more than a year for complete renovation, the former InterContinental Hotel in Downtown Milwaukee is open again.
The new Marcus Hotel is called St. Kate – The Arts Hotel. The name is derived from St. Catherine, the patron saint of artists, and the property will certainly do its job blessing local art makers and art lovers.
“We understand the idea of the intersection of commerce and art,” explained Greg Marcus, President & CEO of Marcus Corporation. “I very much believe that you can do well and do good at the same time.”
The hotel is filled with local art, and artists. A performance space will feature late night shows and resident dancers, musicians and actors.
There is a permanent gallery and room for three exhibitions. Every room is filled with local products and artwork. Even the closets have local paintings.
Five “Canvas Rooms” are themselves works of art. “I want people to really realize there are great artists in Milwaukee,” explained Rosemary Ollison, a local artist whose work fills one of the hotel’s rooms.
“It’s definitely different, so different is good,” she explained.
Her art is created using entirely reclaimed materials, and the theme for her room is integration. “Putting things together. “People. Everything. We should be together and be united and in that, there's beauty.”
Some proceeds from the canvas rooms will benefit local arts charities. The Company will choose five new organizations every year to receive the funding generated from the room rates.
The upstairs restaurant will be called Aria Café and Bar. It too is heavy on local influence.
Executive Chef Aaron Miles boasted about his family recipe chip dip that will be available, “…two year cheddar... good Wisconsin aged cheddar. There's some Wisconsin brick cheese... pickled peppers,” he said of his grandmother’s recipe which he only slightly altered.
Local artist, John Grant, also designed one of the Canvas rooms. He views St. Kate as a venue not just for out of towners, but for residents as well.
“I think beyond just artists, appreciators of art will find something of their liking here, but more importantly it's just a cool place to hang.”