Westin begins displaying local art

For the first time since the Westin Casuarina Resort opened its doors, a significant body of work by a local artist is displayed in the hotel.

Renate Seffer’s 28-painting solo exhibition called ‘Starting Over’ opened Wednesday night in the lounge area of the hotel’s front lobby.

More than 200 people turned out to enjoy the artwork, piano music, and complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres.

Westin food and beverage director Marcus Repp said the hotel hopes to make the exhibition of the work of local artists a regular, monthly event.

‘We want to continue with this,’ he said. ‘We’re asking artists on the island to come to us with their art.’

The exhibition represents a new phase of community involvement for the hotel, Mr. Repp said.

‘I think Ivan brought everybody a little closer. We’d like that spirit to continue.’

Mr. Repp said he and Ms. Seffer teamed up to put the exhibition together in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan.

‘Starting Over’ mostly portrays the lives of the residents of Grand Cayman during and after the hurricane.

Ms Seffer uses vibrant colours and distinctive, almost comic-strip-style characters to create a light-hearted look at the post-Ivan world.

The self-taught painter says in her artist’s statement that her inspiration comes from different directions, including her observation of human nature, the beauty around her, and how she perceives life.

‘It may also be something that suddenly catches my eye, something a bit quirky, humorous or out of the ordinary,’ she said.

The sentiments of that statement resonate throughout the work of ‘Starting Over’ providing resident viewers with an alternative way of looking at the disruption Hurricane Ivan has wrought on our lives.

Ms Seffer’s work apparently struck a desired chord in those attending the opening as half of the 28 paintings sold in the first night.

‘I really can’t believe it,’ said the artist. ‘It’s fantastic.’

Starting Over will be on display for the rest of February, after which Mr. Repp hopes to have an arrangement with another local artist for next month.

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