NU Perspectives Project, the 93-room boutique hotel has given creative license to a variety of artists to liven up the largest guestrooms. Natalie is one of the first Trestle Artists to join this project, and Trestle wanted to know more!
Natalie Lomeli: Room 406
Can you briefly describe the mural project at the Nu Hotel?
The NU Hotel mural project is a way for us to offer up a special opportunity for a wonderful community of artists who are interested in working in such a large and permanent scale. We have an ongoing submission process open to any Brooklyn artist. It's our goal to offer a unique and fun experience to artists and while offering the same to our guests. Our murals vary from the more abstract to realistic, many incorporating local architecture and details that connect the works to Brooklyn.
What is your favorite part about working with the artists?
My favorite part about working with artist is getting to chat with them about ideas that they are passionate about. Being an artist myself, I always enjoy a break from the day to talk about art, so really, I just enjoy the whole process!
What has the feedback been like from guests staying in the rooms?
Guests adore the mural rooms. Often times, they even feel disappointed if they don't get to stay in their favorite room, but we do our best to accommodate.
How many artists have created murals so far? And how many have been BAS/Trestle connections?
We have a total of 15 murals that have been created over the years and we are always interested in adding more. I'm pleased to report that we have 5 murals in house that were created by artists who have been connected to BAS/Trestle in some way.
Along with Natalie are more Trestle artists, we asked Lisa Warren, Hyun Jung Ahn, Myla Seabrook, and Kristen Haskell questions as well!
What inspired you to create your mural, and what did you enjoy about working with the Nu Hotel?
I was inspired to paint Truman Capote conceiving ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’ in his Brooklyn brownstone because The Nu Hotel is located just around the corner from where Truman Capote famously lived. I wanted to create a mural that focused on Truman Capote's house, so that one could imagine the writer’s life in Brooklyn. I was inspired by Capote's characters from Breakfast at Tiffany because they too were inspired by Capote's neighbors in Brooklyn Heights. I felt that placing quotes and handwritten text created an imaginary room where guests could drift off and escape the everyday while peacefully sleeping beneath the Tiffany blue inspired mural.
Working at the Nu Hotel was a pure delight and I was sorry to leave the comfortable room that I occupied for several days! The staff was very helpful when it came time to carry my supplies to and from the mural. They were all so nice at the Nu Hotel! There were great restaurants nearby and each day I enjoyed the most incredible bakery just down the Street. When I felt time to take a stroll by Capotes Brooklyn Heights brownstone for inspiration, I enjoyed an incredible restaurant for dinner as well. More typically, when it was cold outside, I opted for a hot chocolate break at the bakery and kept my work hours going into the night.
I was inspired by Brooklyn skies. As a child, I lived in Williamsburg with a clear view of the river and Manhattan skyline on my way home. I wanted guests to have a similar feeling of coming home, and adding the Brooklyn bridge was a personal touch of including one of my favorite landmarks.
I loved working with the NuHotel staff (and wonderful Natalie!) because everyone was so accommodating and kind. They appreciated the work I was putting into the project, and weren't afraid to make that clear. It was motivating!
Hyun Jung Ahn
I can say Brooklyn inspired me. I thought about ‘My Brooklyn’ for the work. I have been living in here for two years as an artist, and it is the most exciting time in my life. I wanted to create a new landscape to express my relationship and engagement with Brooklyn. For the design, the abstract shapes and colors were pulled from my visual lexicon diary.
First of all, the wall was the biggest canvas (9x14 ft) in my life and It was the first mural with my own design. That made me feel so excited and it was satisfying when I finished it, the process was harder than I thought though.
The working condition was also great. Natalie took care of everything I needed for the mural. She was amazing to work with and it was a good experience. Also, I stayed at the hotel while I worked on it and it was fantastic! I’m happy that my painting is to be part of the hotel.
Throughout the years as an artist my work has evolved in many stages, all with a constant theme, nature. Nature fascinates me in many ways, and it has always had somewhat of a presence in my work, whether deliberately or unconsciously. My work also has a repetitive theme of graphic line work and patterns, and tends to break the rules of perspective. This mural combines these aspects while also showing the Coney Island Skyline and a glimpse of local and revisiting wildlife. All of the species shown in the mural are either native to the New York waterways or have visited us from time to time.
I loved working with the Nu Hotel, from the beginning proposal stages throughout the completion of the mural including the launch party. Natalie was great with working with me and helping me finalize my proposal. All of the hotel staff was very helpful, making sure I had everything I needed during my execution of the mural. They also threw a very nice mural launch party to celebrate the completion of the three murals created last year. I am now expanding my relationship with the Nu Hotel with my clothing line Haskieville Apparel. Haskieville created a new design called "The Morning Commute", which is now printed on tote bags for the Nu Hotel. The bag will be sold on the Nu Hotel website as well