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Local artist Clive Promhows' floor greets guests.

Journeyman Hotel connects with community through local creations

The Kimpton Journeyman, an upscale boutique hotel that opened at the end of June, is one of 60 Kimpton properties in the United States. Forging strong ties to the Third Ward and other Milwaukee neighborhoods, however, was important to the company.

In order to do so, the hotel hired multiple local artists to contribute to the decor and create a custom aesthetic.

"We have quite a bit of local artists' work displayed throughout the property," says general manager Patrick Gaskin. "It's been amazing to have local artists involved in this process."

Every room at the Journeyman features a hint of Milwaukee, from framed vintage Summerfest posters to more subtle nods by local artists.

"We are in the perfect location to be very involved in the community," says Gaskin.

Upon entering the hotel, 318 E. Chicago Ave., guests are greeted with a distressed swirling floor design hand-stamped by local artist Clive Promhows.

In the meeting room, there's a table created by Scátháin, with a reclaimed oak top and cast-iron legs embossed with the words: "Milw / Scátháin / Wisc." Scátháin also created brass, laser-cut threshholds between the elevators and the entrance to The Outsider, the Journeyman's rooftop lounge.

Jordan Waraksa of Fiddle + Hammer created a working "Bellaphone" from a vintage tequila barrel. He sold a similar creation to the new Google offices in New York.

Catherine Lotte hand-etched names onto the dog bowls that are in each room next to a ceramic pooch.

According to Gaskin, The Journeyman is currently working with Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD) students to create a coffee table book that will eventually be in the lobby.

"It focuses on the process of art making," says Gaskin.

The nine-story, 158-room hotel is the first in the Historic Third Ward. It features a Mediterranean-American restaurant, Tre Rivali, on the ground floor, in addition to the rooftop terrace lounge.

The Kimpton design teams work to ensure local touches in all of the hotels. "It's extremely important to embrace the neighborhood and the community," says Gaskin.

Here are seven more photos of local art in The Journeyman.

1. Bellaphone (back) by Jordan Waraksa

2. Bellaphone (front) by Jason Waraksa

3. Hand-etching on dog bowls by Catherine Lotte

4. Oak and cast iron table by Scátháin

5. Table legs by Scátháin

6. Thresholds by Scátháin

7. Fl0or stenciling by Clive Promhows


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