Today, Rockwell Group and Civilian Hotel announced the installation of a new art exhibition by 10-time Tony Award-winning artist Tommy Tune, featuring his acrylic-on-oil canvas works, as a new addition for its theater-inspired Olio Collection.
Tune’s art pieces, titled “Self Portrait” feature seven original works on canvas and “Flight,” present four original works on paper.
Tune said of his exhibit: “I love to paint. If you can be in a constant state of creativity, that’s the dream. Whether it’s audiences inside a theatre, or guests of Civilian Hotel’s masterfully curated hotel, I strive to activate the imagination with my art.”
David Rockwell, the architect and creative visionary behind Civilian Hotel theater-focused concept and Olio Collection, added, “I’ve always wanted to work with Tommy Tune. A true Broadway legend. His brush strokes are as theatrical and imaginative as his stage work.”
Civilian Hotel is a bold new hotel concept by Jason Pomeranc — founder of the SIXTY Collective, the international hospitality company behind Sixty Hotels. The debut outpost from a growing brand, Civilian merges accessible luxury, functionality, and high design with a focus on convenience and bespoke experiences for a modern traveler.
Designed by renowned architect David Rockwell and Rockwell Group, Civilian Hotel boasts 203 charming and fully equipped accommodations, efficient in both their form and function. Evoking a vintage dressing room, and a nod to the surrounding neighborhood, each space is punctuated with deep accent colors, luxurious linens and tactile fabrics, as well as curated artwork and amenities. The hotel boasts of three floors of food and beverage opportunities to enjoy by Carver Road Hospitality. Rosevale Kitchen and Cocktail Room brings a modern interpretation of a classic New York eatery, along with a secret garden accessed only from a concealed entry point. Rosevale Cocktail Room and the Blue Room offers an extensive list of specialty Broadway inspired cocktails and handcrafted drinks, as well as the largest collection of vermouth in the country with a bespoke collection of Theatre artifacts curated by the American Theatre Wing. The rooftop bar, Starchild, has a retractable ceiling and striking panoramic views of the city open all year round with late night cocktail service. civilianhotel.com.
Civilian donates a portion of its fees to American Theatre Wing to help in its mission of supporting the theatrical art-form, with an ongoing partnership.
Through a powerful suite of programs that address all aspects of the national theatre ecology, The American Theatre Wing encourages the discovery of theatre by people of all ages, nurtures talent on stage and off, creates pathways for success for students and young professionals, and encourages the development of the art form itself by recognizing and supporting innovative and excellent work with awards and grants. For more information, visit AmericanTheatreWing.org.
Civilian is designed to celebrate its Broadway location by paying homage to the creative contributions of New York’s theatrical artists. The jewel of the hotel is the Olio Collection, a theater-focused curated art exhibition with permanent and rotating artifacts, original works, and archival photography. Over 350 pieces of art – including sketches, models, photographs, props, costumes, murals, and custom furnishings – are located throughout the public spaces and guest rooms – representing 100 years of Broadway history. The work displayed has been lent by collectors and archivists, and — in many cases — the artists who created it.
Guests enter Civilian’s lobby through a discreet side stage-inspired door into a runway-like vestibule with black and white photography by Little Fang, a husband-and-wife photography team known for their Broadway and opening night portraits. The photographs feature architectural details from theater facades, grounding the hotel in a sense of place. Marquee lights envelope the vestibule. Velvet-draped walls and vintage theater chairs evoke the ritual of leaving the bustling street behind for a night on Broadway.
In the restaurant, 41 custom sconces feature sketches, each depicting a different Broadway theater, by an expansive list of prominent set designers including historic sketches by Tony Walton and contemporary drawings by designers, such as Es Devlin, Mimi Lien, Clint Ramos, and Anna Louizos. Inspired by the theater drawings found in a Playbill, Rockwell Group reached out to each designer personally, and while the sketches highlight each artist’s individual style, together they create a cohesive family. An Art Deco-inspired font created by Rockwell Group’s Graphics team reveals the name of each theater and artist below the sconces.
On the second floor, the hotel bar features an inaugural exhibition paying homage to Company, George Furth and Stephen Sondheim’s quintessential musical comedy about life in New York City. Curators Christine Jones, Clint Ramos and Jules Fisher asked artists and designers, professionals and students alike, to submit a work inspired by lyrics from the show.
A custom brass and glass vitrine displays scenic models of current productions on Broadway. Pieces include set models of Moulin Rouge by Derek McLane, The Piano Lesson by Beowulf Boritt and Funny Girl by David Zinn.
The vitrine’s arched display window is a motif repeated throughout the hotel, inspired by traditional theater architecture. Photographs of Broadway hits, selected by Sara Krulwich from her vast portfolio for The New York Times, frame the bar at Rosevale Cocktail Room.
Vitrines in the Broadway Blue Room, a more private, intimate lounge located at the back of the bar, house a rotating exhibit of one-of-a-kind theater ephemera co-curated by David Rockwell and Rachel Hauck, Tony-award-winning scenic designer of Hadestown. Iconic show props and costume pieces on display celebrate original Broadway productions and revivals, including recent Tony Award-winning hits such as Into The Woods, MJ, Six, Harry Potted and the Cursed Child, Kinky Boots, and more.
In the elevators, guests are immersed in the world of costume design. Custom Maya Romanoff wallcoverings, produced exclusively for the hotel, feature original sketches by costume designers Paul Tazewell (Hamilton), Isabel and Ruben Toledo (After Midnight), and William Ivey Long (Chicago). As guests find their way to their rooms, custom Maya Romanoff wallcoverings lead the way in rich jewel tones. Here, we abstracted details from costume designs by Isabel and Ruben Toledo (After Midnight) and William Ivey Long (Beetlejuice and Hairspray). The four wall coverings alternate throughout the guestroom floors.
Framed black and white photographs sourced from the New York Public Library archives as well as contemporary theatrical photographers line each corridor. Showcasing the life of Broadway shows from rehearsals to backstage to opening night, photographs range from Helen Hayes playing ping pong backstage during the 1934 production of Mary of Scotland to rehearsals of The Wiz in 1974.
The guestrooms celebrate the artistic process with framed sketches and process materials by Broadway creatives, including Derek McLane (Moulin Rouge), Christine Jones (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child),and Wilson Chin (The Secret Garden). Platform four-poster beds feature Jim Thompson pillows with abstracted patterns by costume designers Jeff Mahshie and David Zinn.
Starchild Rooftop Bar displays a site-specific mural by costume and scenic designer David Zinn, inspired by Studio 54 —the nightclub turned Broadway theater.
Tommy Tune is one of the country’s most prolific performer/director/choreographers and is celebrating his golden decade on the great American stage. He has received 10 Tony Awards, which includes the 2015 Tony for Life Achievement in the Theatre and the only person in theatrical history to win in four different categories, and to win the same two Tony Awards two years in a row. Tommy has also received The National Medal of Arts, 8 Drama Desk Awards, 2 Obie Awards, 3 Astaire Awards, and multiple Life Time Achievement Awards including the Society of Directors and the Choreographers’ George Abbott Award.
A native Texan, Mr. Tune began his career as a dancer in the Broadway shows Baker Street, A Joyful Noise and How Now Dow Jones. He has received Tony Awards for The Will Rogers Follies (Direction and Choreography), Grand Hotel (Direction and Choreography), My One and Only (Actor in a Musical and Choreography) Nine (Direction), A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine(Choreography) and Seesaw (Featured Actor in a Musical). Tune received two Tony nominations (Direction and Choreography) for The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas. Tommy has been invited to sing and dance for three United States Presidents, the Queen of England and the Royal Family of Monaco.
Film credits include Hello Dolly, The Boy Friend, and Mimi Bluette…fiore del mio giardino, and in 1999, he made his Las Vegas debut as the star of EFX at the MGM Grand Hotel. Tune is the recipient of the National Medal Of Arts, the highest honor for artistic achievement given by the President of the United States, was honored with his own star on the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame and inducted into The Theater Hall of Fame by Gwen Verdon.
In 2009 the New York Landmarks Conservancy designated Mr. Tune as a Living Landmark. In early 2015 Tune received rave reviews for his tap dancing and singing role in the Encores! production of Lady, Be Good! at New York City Center. In addition to touring with Chita Rivera in Chita & Tune, Tommy also toured the country in his one-man show, Tommy Tune Tonight! in 2018.
Based in New York with offices in Los Angeles and Madrid, Rockwell Group is an interdisciplinary architecture and design firm that emphasizes innovation and thought leadership in every project. Founded by David Rockwell, FAIA, and led by David and partners Shawn Sullivan and Greg Keffer, the 300-person firm merges performance and architecture to create extraordinary experiences and built environments across the globe. Inspired by theater, technology, and high-end craft, the firm creates a unique narrative for each project, ranging from restaurants, hotels, cultural and educational institutions, airport terminals, to festivals, museum exhibitions, and Broadway sets. Projects include Nobu Hotels and restaurants worldwide; the Perelman Performing Arts Center in New York (Restaurant and Lobby Interior Architect); W Hotels worldwide; 555 Pennsylvania Avenue for Johns Hopkins University (Washington, D.C. and Baltimore); Coqodaq (New York); One Madison Avenue (New York); Zaytinya (New York); 550 Madison (New York); and set designs for more than 100 productions, both on and off- Broadway. Honors and recognition include the 2016 Tony Award for Best Scenic Design for She Loves Me; two Emmy Awards for production design for the Oscars (2021 and 2010); the AIANY President’s Award; the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award; and the Presidential Design Award.
Art for All: The Digital Gallery Revolution
The evolution of art accessibility from the hallowed halls of museums to the vast expanse of the digital realm represents a significant shift in how we engage with art. This transformation has democratized art, making it more accessible to everyone, regardless of geographical location, financial status, or physical mobility.
The Traditional Museum Experience
For centuries, art was confined within the walls of museums and galleries, accessible only to those who could physically visit. Museums offer a tactile and visual experience, allowing viewers to engage with art in its physical form. However, this traditional mode of access has its limitations—physical, financial, and geographical barriers that prevent many from experiencing art.
The Rise of Digital Galleries
The advent of digital galleries has revolutionized this landscape. Digital platforms have removed many of the barriers associated with traditional museums, offering global access to art at little to no cost. High-resolution images, detailed artist biographies, and the histories of artworks are now available online, providing a comprehensive art viewing experience that rivals physical attendance.
Pioneering Art Accessibility
WikiGallery.org, with its vast collection of freely usable images, epitomizes the shift towards digital accessibility in art. It functions as a virtual museum, open to anyone with an internet connection, offering access to hundreds of thousands of artworks. This platform allows users to explore art beyond geographical and financial constraints, bridging the gap between the public and the often exclusive world of fine art.
Comparing Experiences: Museum vs. Digital
While digital galleries offer unprecedented access to art, they provide a different experience from visiting a museum. The sensory experience of viewing a painting in person, the scale, texture, and true color, cannot be fully replicated online. However, digital galleries offer other advantages, such as the ability to explore a vast array of art beyond what is physically possible in a single museum visit.
The Impact on Public Engagement with Art
Digital galleries have significantly impacted public engagement with art. They serve as educational resources, providing access to art history and criticism. Interactive elements, such as virtual tours and online exhibitions, have introduced new ways to engage with art, making it more interactive and accessible to a broader audience.
The Future of Art Accessibility
The future of art accessibility is not only promising but on the cusp of a revolutionary change, with technological innovations like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) at the forefront. These technologies promise to bridge the gap between digital and physical art experiences even further, making art more immersive and interactive. Imagine standing in your living room but being transported into the heart of the Louvre or the halls of the Hermitage, examining masterpieces in intricate detail as if you were there. This evolution will make art even more accessible and engaging to the global public, offering unprecedented ways to explore, learn, and connect with art beyond the conventional boundaries of museums and galleries.
The shift from canvas to digital has transformed art accessibility, making it more inclusive and comprehensive. Digital galleries, exemplified by platforms like WikiGallery.org, have played a pivotal role in this transformation. While the experience of art in the digital realm differs from the traditional museum experience, it complements it, offering new opportunities for engagement, education, and appreciation. The evolution of art accessibility underscores a broader cultural shift towards democratizing art, ensuring that it can be enjoyed by all, regardless of physical or financial limitations.
In summary, the journey from traditional art spaces to digital platforms has not only widened access to art but also diversified the ways in which people can engage with and appreciate artistic creations. As technology continues to evolve, so too will the landscape of art accessibility, promising a future where the barriers to experiencing art are even further reduced.
Bonnie Comley Nothing To Wear
Bonnie Comley stepped into the art world last night. She and ChaShaMa presented a piece called “Nothing To Wear”, at 340 East 64th Street, which is an interactive installation, a thought provoking look at fast fashion and body image. This provocative look at our relationship with our clothing choices as it pertains to our self image, fast fashion and textile waste, challenges the fashion industry to create an alternative to current business models and the global appetite for consumption. “Nothing to Wear”, asks viewers to question dress codes like the current policing of women in political office, facilitates self-reflection on biases regarding our own clothing and the community around us as uniform, self-expression, or just protection from the elements of weather.
Also involved were Sarah DeMarino – Co-Producer/Director, Leah Lane – Soundscape Monologue Writer and Jasper Isaac Johns the Exhibit Designer.
At the opening and on certain dates Hannah Durant Joe Guccione and Dallas Bernstein perform monologues that coincide with the project. These mini playlets were insightful and thought provoking.
In attendance were:
Bonnie is a three-time Tony Award-winning producer. She has, also, won an Olivier Award and two Drama Desk Awards for her stage productions. She was recently re-elected as the Board President of The Drama League. She is a full member of The Broadway League and the Audience Engagement and Education Committee. Comley has produced over 40 films, winning five Telly Awards and one W3 Award. She is also the founder and CEO of BroadwayHD, the world’s premier online streaming platform delivering over 300 premium live productions to theatre fans globally. The theatre community has honored Comley for her philanthropic work; she is the recipient of The Actors Fund Medal of Honor, The Drama League Special Contribution to the Theater Award, The Paul Newman Award from Arts Horizons and The Theater Museum Distinguished Service Award.
ChaShaMa helps create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive world by partnering with property owners to transform unused real estate. Currently, they present 150 events a year, have workspace for 120 artists, and have developed 80 workshops in under served communities. They have awarded 11 million dollars worth of real estate to artists and have subsidizes another 300 with work spaces. They provide over 215 free art classes and have supported over 75 businesses with free space
To see Nothing to Wear click here
New-York Historical Society Celebrates Women’s History Month
Throughout Women’s History Month, the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West (at 77th Street), will showcase women’s stories through exhibitions, installations, and public programming.
On International Women’s Day, renowned Cherokee artist Kay WalkingStick and New-York Historical’s Chief Curator Wendy Nālani E. Ikemoto will be in conversation over a live, free Zoom discussing WalkingStick’s exhibition Kay WalkingStick / Hudson River School, on view at New-York Historical through April 14. Other exhibitions and displays on view throughout March include Women’s Work, an exhibition that demonstrates how “women’s work” defies categorization; Women Who Preserved New York City which explores how Shirley Hayes, Margot Gayle, and Joan Maynard galvanized communities to save historic buildings and places; and Serving Style: Ted Tinling, Designer for the Tennis Stars, which turns a spotlight on the designer who made many of Billie Jean King’s iconic looks. On March 3, the ninth annual Diane and Adam E. Max Conference on Women’s History will center on exploring how we understand “care.”
Additional details follow:A Conversation with Kay WalkingStickFeaturing: Kay WalkingStick, Wendy Nālani E. Ikemoto Friday, March 8, 6 – 7 pm ET Free | Presented live on Zoom Celebrate International Women’s Day with this online event featuring renowned Cherokee artist Kay WalkingStick in conversation with New-York Historical’s Wendy Nālani E. Ikemoto. WalkingStick is the focus of our acclaimed exhibition Kay WalkingStick / Hudson River School, which places her work in a fascinating dialogue with 19th-century Hudson River School paintings and explores the relationship between Indigenous art and American art history. They’ll discuss WalkingStick’s remarkable career, her recent invitation to the Venice Biennale, and her decades of work reimagining and reframing the American landscape.Kay WalkingStick / Hudson River SchoolOn view through April 14 Kay WalkingStick / Hudson River School places landscape paintings by the renowned, contemporary Cherokee artist Kay WalkingStick in conversation with highlights from New-York Historical’s collection of 19th-century Hudson River School paintings. This artistic dialogue showcases the ways in which WalkingStick’s work both connects to and diverges from the Hudson River School tradition and explores the agency of art in shaping humankind’s relationship to the land. The exhibition celebrates a shared reverence for nature while engaging crucial questions about land dispossession and its reclamation by Indigenous peoples and nations and exploring the relationship between Indigenous art and American art history.Women’s WorkOn view through July 7 Presented by the Center for Women’s History, Women’s Workshowcases approximately 45 objects from New-York Historical’s own Museum and Library collections to demonstrate how “women’s work” defies categorization. The items range from a 19th-century mahogany cradle to a 20th-century doctor’s dissection kit to a pinback button with the message “Shirley Chisholm for President.” The exhibition seeks to demonstrate that women’s work has been essential to American society and is inherently political: Women’s work is everywhere.
Women Who Preserved New York CityOn view through June 9 This installation explores how three women—Shirley Hayes, Margot Gayle, and Joan Maynard—galvanized communities to save historic buildings and places. Each subverted gendered expectations that limited them to the domestic realm and instead led campaigns to protect the historic cityscape.Serving Style: Ted Tinling, Designer for the Tennis StarsOn view through June 23 Our installation turns a spotlight on the designer who made many of Billie Jean King’s iconic looks. King and Tinling had a tremendous influence on the visibility of women on the tennis court. King’s tenacity and commitment for equal rights, together with Tinling’s bold designs, challenged conventions about what women can do, emphasizing that women can be simultaneously powerful, strong, and feminine.
On and Off the Clock: Reconsidering Women’s WorkSunday, March 3, 12—5 pm ET $4; Free for Women’s History Council Members The ninth annual Diane and Adam E. Max Conference on Women’s History will center on exploring how we understand “care.” Across three linked panels, we probe what “care” means, who does the work of caring, and what services get pushed to the margins by our current social policy framework. The conference will culminate with a keynote conversation on reproductive care. Reception to follow.
Events for March
St. Patrick’s Day, Women’s History Month, a Harlem Renaissance exhibit at the Met with160 works by Black artists. Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature,at The Morgan Library & Museum through 6/9. The Orchid show continues until 4/21 at the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. Florals in Fashion highlights the work of designers Hilary Taymour (Collina Strada), Olivia Cheng (Dauphinette) and Kristen Alpaugh, aka FLWR PSTL Also Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz’s “Giants,”is at the Brooklyn Museum until 7/7. The exhibition features artists who have made and continue to make a significant impact on the art world and contemporary culture. The show features 98 artworks by Black American, African, and African artists including Gordon Parks, Kehinde Wiley, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mickalene Thomas, Hassan Hajjaj, Barkley L. Hendricks, Lorna Simpson, and Amy Sherald.
3/1 -3: The Vienna Philharmonic one of the world’s most celebrated orchestras, takes center stage at Carnegie Hall.
3/3 -5: Coffee Fest NY Javits.
3/3 -5: International Beauty Show Javits.
3/6 – 10: The New Colossus Festival provides a platform for new artists, including international bands making their NYC debuts. The festival will take place across multiple venues mostly spread throughout the Lower East Side and the East Village, including Bowery Electric, Mercury Lounge, Berlin, Heaven Can Wait, and others. This year’s artists include Cucamaras (UK), Ducks LTD (Canada), Heffner (US), Holiday Ghosts (UK), Hotel Lux (UK), Housewife (Canada), and more. You can check out the full lineup and schedule of events here.
3/8: International Women’s Day
3/15: The New York Pops Hitsville: Celebrating Motown
3/1 -17: The Annual Flamenco Festival with 22 performances across 13 different venues all over the city.
3/1 -17: The New York International Children’s Film Festival
3/17: Join in on the 263rd celebration of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in NYC. The parade kicks off at 11am, moving along Fifth Avenue from 44th Street to 82nd Street. This year’s grand marshal, Maggie Timoney, president and CEO of Heineken USA, is only the fifth woman to lead the parade since its inception.
3/20 -24: Affordable Art Fair with over 400 living artists to discover you are sure to find your next perfect artwork.
3/23 – 11/: JAPAN Fes, in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. This is the largest Japanese food festival in the world, with over 1,000 vendors.
3/24 – 4/7: The Annual Macy’s Flower Show created in partnership with Dior.
3/26 – 10/2: Apollo: When We Went to the Moon at The Intrepid Museum. The exhibit is included with museum admission.
Events For February
There is still the Bryant Park Winter Village’s iconic bumper cars, two Broadway tickets for the price of one and restaurant week end February 4th. Heated Igloos, ice skating goes high on the Edge’s sky deck. Winter markets are still open in February. Don’t miss out on some of the best cultural events of the year during Black History Month after free Fridays make it affordable.
2/2-4: New York’s iconic vintage show Manhattan Vintage over 90 dealers
2/9-11: New York Fashion Week all over NYC
2/9: National Pizza Day
2/11: Experience The Super Bowl Hype The Empire Rooftop Lounge. Participate in a whole host of contests, delicious menu items available to order and drink specials, this is the perfect way for keen and casual fans alike to relax and have fun on the big night!
2/10: Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys. The exhibition will feature more than 100 major artworks by important Black American, African, and African diasporic artists including Gordon Parks, Kehinde Wiley, Hassan Hajjaj, Barkley L. Hendricks, Lorna Simpson, and Amy Sherald. Brooklyn Museum.
2/23: Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature at the Morgan Library & Museum will celebrate the works of beloved English author Beatrix Potter.
2/25: Chinatown’s annual Lunar (Chinese) New Year Parade with dragon dancing, stunning outfits, martial art performers and more. Head to Chinatown for the Lunar New Year Parade, which celebrates the year of the dragon. Bayard Street between Mott and Mulberry Streets.
2/25: The Metropolitan Museum of Art “The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism,” the exhibit will present 160 works exploring how Black artists portrayed everyday modern life in the new Black cities that took shape in the 1920s-40s in New York City’s Harlem, Chicago’s South Side and nationwide amid the Great Migration.
2/25: Central Park Half Marathon
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