Having spent over 20 years defending prisoners on death row before setting up her gallery, you’d imagine nothing much could faze Long-Sharp. Yet, she says, she was “shocked” when she was initially approached to design an entire art program for the hotel: “I did nothing but think about it for 48 to 72 hours”. There was no reason for her to be concerned. With access to her gallery’s impressive collection of art, and her even more intimidating knowledge, Long-Sharp was the perfect candidate for Conrad Indianapolis. “Recently, in the Presidential Suite, we put up an Andy Warhol and a Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibition for a month. Most places don’t have access to that,” she enthuses. “Why would a hotel, or anyone, other than a collector or a museum?”
Russell Young’s Elvis Presley Mugshot Pink and David Kramer’s Working the Social Network in Conrad Indianapolis’ Contemporary Suite
The art isn’t just limited to these suites; there is always something new for guests to see in every quarter. At an art fair in London, a visitor to Long-Sharp’s stand remarked that he had seen a magnificent Picasso exhibition in the lobby of a hotel in Indianapolis, “and that was us. It was amazing that this was his most important memory of Indianapolis. He didn’t remember the cars, he remembered the Picassos.”
‘Art Ambassadors’ familiarize guests with artwork by Constance Edwards Scopelitis’ on display in the hotel
Long-Sharp is also committed to showing artists connected to the state of Indiana, which makes the exhibitions extra special. “It’s one thing to put a bit of art on the wall, it’s another thing to really champion the artist and their work, to get them recognized,” Long-Sharp says.
The effort put into designing such a comprehensive art program is what sets the Conrad Indianapolis head and shoulders above other art hotels. “When you walk into this hotel,” Long-Sharp says, “you can choose to be part of this art experience or not.” It begs the question: with all the fantastic work on display, why wouldn’t you?