Studio Art Direct completes 6 new works for Hotel Modera suites

Hotel Modera  is an urban-chic-meets-Northwest-cool boutique hotel in dowtowm Portland, Oregon.  From the modern lobby to the perfectly outfitted master suites that cater to the business traveler, Modera brims with art created by Portland area artists. 
Portland artist Michael Hensley was commissioned by Studio Art Direct to create and abstract painting that burst with all things Portland. From volcanoes and loggers to bikes and beer, this painting has it all.

Studio Art Direct commissioned another 6 works of art for the Hotel Modera suites.  The hotel’s permanent art collection now totals 506 works created specifically for the hotel by Studio Art.

President, Janelle Baglien, the art designer and broker for the hotel, worked with local artist Michael Hensley to dream up this abstract painting that bursts with all things Portland.  “This painting is street meets art with a graffiti style.  You can stare at it for hours and still not find all the hidden Portland messages and insider nods to pdx culture,” says Baglien.   The original painting (shown here) was then scanned at super high resolution and made into archival reproductions using pigment inks on canvas 30×60. 

Giclee reprodutions of this painting are available to the public at 20% off the listed price.  Just give us a call at 503 230 9390.   Visit to learn more.


Art of Hotel Modera Video – modern hotel art by Studio Art Direct

Porrtland, Oregon – Studio Art Direct provided nearly 500 works of art by local creative professionals for Hotel Modera in Portland, Oregon. The Hotel Modera is a mid century modern marvel with sustainable design and packed full of sculpture, paintings, and photography by Portland area artists. Watch video:

Oregonian coverage of Hotel Modera Art by Brian Libby

Art at the Hotel Modera

by Brian Libby

Thursday June 05, 2008, 10:44 AM

One of the amenities of the new Hotel Modera is the art. A lot of art.

Local artist William Park had an impressive show of paintings last month at Mark Woolley Gallery called “Life Is Good,” which fused colorful abstraction with wildlife portraiture. But it’s arguable that the acclaimed Park’s best recent work is on view more permanently down the street from Woolley’s space, as part of the dilapidated former Days Inn City Center’s transformation into the chic Hotel Modera.

With its sleek renovation designed by Portland’s much-admired Holst Architecture, the 174-room Modera, at Southwest Fifth Avenue and Clay Street, has become the city’s latest and perhaps most impressive boutique hotel. Along with interior flourishes of marble, stained wood and stylish furniture, the hotel has invested about $150,000 in artworks by local artists for virtually every room and public space on the site, as selected by art adviser Janelle Baglien of Studio Art Direct.

Modera’s lobby is a dramatic open plan with floor-to-ceiling glass overlooking a new courtyard, the latter converted from a parking lot by landscape architects Lango Hansen. Baglien sought a variety of curvy, circular forms in the artworks, be they abstractions or figurative nudes, to counter what she felt was a masculine design with its straight lines and hard surfaces.

The lobby’s centerpiece is Park’s massive 72-by-72-inch painting, “the white album,” a vivid swirl of creamy white plaster. Although it’s a gorgeous work, it’s also no accident the painting’s circular form recalls Hotel Modera’s logo. Baglien gave Park explicit instructions for what to paint.

“Not all artists work well on commission,” says Baglien. “I needed people I could trust.”

Although Baglien recalls Park initially bristling at having instructions, it led to an exceptionally compelling painting.

Park was also commissioned for two other works in the lobby. At first, Baglien felt that a colorful abstract painting near the entrance called “This will look different next time” was too yellow, so its primary wavy form was retouched to become darker, like a warped record album. There is also, on the facing wall, Park’s charcoal sketch of a quite curvy nude woman, “Sienna.” It, too, was made to order.

By the front desk is a multihued print of tree branches by Martha Pfanschmidt called “Traversing Time.” It also adds an organic feel to the clean-lined architecture and interiors. A few feet away are two photos by Stewart Harvey documenting the arrival of Raymond Kaskey’s “Portlandia” statue downtown via boat, before it was hoisted onto a pedestal atop the Portland Building. In Harvey’s black-and-white picture, the statue towers over Waterfront Park; one yearns for it to be returned there for a new permanent home.

The hotel has an inordinate amount of art in the bathroom, too.

Modera is just the latest of several downtown hotels, either new arrivals or renovated existing establishments, to exhibit artwork by local or renowned names. At the hip Ace Hotel on Southwest Stark, for example, Portland artists such as Ryan Jacob Smith painted murals on the walls of rooms. One of the city’s top dealers, Elizabeth Leach Gallery, has often displayed works by its represented artists at two downtown establishments: Hotel Monaco and the Heathman Hotel. The Monaco even has a dog living on the premises named Art.

The venerable Heathman has long displayed its collection of Andy Warhol prints from his “Endangered Species” series in the elevator lobby of each floor, as well as in its adjacent Heathman Restaurant. Although prints admittedly aren’t as valuable as original paintings, there’s far more Warhol in the hotel than you’ll find across the street at the Portland Art Museum. For the former Mallory Hotel’s 2006 changeover into the classic Hollywood-themed Hotel deLuxe, curator Tessa Pappas accessed a collection of old studio photos featuring the likes of Humphrey Bogart, Alfred Hitchcock and Judy Garland.

At Hotel Modera, in addition to established artists like Park, Baglien chose work by a variety of emerging and under-represented artists, particularly photographers, with impressive results. The ground floor, near a series of meeting rooms, includes a series of abstract paintings by Jeni Lee that recall the rusty-hued works of James Lavadour. One floor with a Willamette Valley theme features luminous black-and-white vineyard shots by longtime McMinnville photographer Doreen Wynja.

In these high-contrast shots, vines and leaves backlit with intense sunshine appear to radiate light from within. Another floor of the hotel is devoted to photos by at-risk teens from the nonprofit Focus on Youth Photography Project.

The irony is that if you live in Portland, there’s no reason to be seeing most of the work at Hotel Modera or any of these new generation of local hotels unless the work occupies a prominent part of the lobby. Are these places yuppie havens? Sure.

Even so, these establishments now form a kind of shadow network of exhibit spaces in the city, providing opportunity to countless local artists, be they partial to boutique hotels, Motel 6 or camping. And besides, the former Days Inn has never looked better.

Hotel Modera, 515 S.W. Clay St.;, 503-484-1084.

The Art of Hotel Modera in Downtown Portland

April 3, 2008 – Portland, Oregon     Studio Art Direct has been awarded the contract to provide artwork for the Hotel Modera in Downtown Portland, Oregon.  Click here for more details

The Hotel Modera now has 500 works of art by Portland, Oregon area artists.

The remodeled hotel, formerly the Days Inn on 6th and Columbia, will feature a mod-elegant ambiance reflected in pure white color palettes, clean lined furnishings, and natural woods.  Named Hotel Modera for its mid century modern style, this new luxury boutique hotel will rival the Heathman, Hilton, and Benson. 

To enhance the overall design, Studio Art Direct curated 300 works of art created exclusively by local artists.  The art is designed to reflect a mid century modern ambiance with minimalistic paintings, large abstracts, nude gesture drawing sketches, glass works, marble sculpture, modern monoprints, and oversized black and white photographs of Oregon’s natural environment.

Artist selected for the hotel include:

PHOTOGRAPHY:  Stewart Harvey, Gary Wilson, Thorsten Ott, Aubrie Aurand, Zeb Andrews, Doreen Wynja,and at-risk-youth from Focus on Youth photography program. 

Photographs are stunning modern black and whites capturing the beauty of Oregon’s beaches, farmlands, vineyards, deserts, and dowtown Portland urbanscapes.  Images were shot digitally and on film using techniques such as pinhole, infrared and time lapsed photography.

One entire floor will be dedicated to Focus on Youth.  This is an organization which puts cameras in the hands of at-risk-youth and teaches them to “shoot beauty” and develop the film.  These photographs are remarkably well done and are an effort to give back to the community by both Studio Art Direct and the hotel owners.

ORIGINAL PAINTINGS & WORKS ON PAPER:  Bill Park, Martha Pfanschmidt, Jeni Lee, and Janelle Baglien.

Several main lobby pieces have been commissioned specifically for the hotel lobby and public areas.  Works include large abstracts and minimalist paintings, nude figurative drawings, and monoprints.


Hotel Modera will open in late May 2008.  Designers include Holst Architecture and Corso Staicoff Interior Design.

A thanks to Portland photographers for beautiful work


Portland, Oregon – January 22, 2008   Studio Art Direct would like to thank all the Portland Photographers who submitted images for our hotel project.

We received thousands of breathtaking images from both emerging artists and established professional photographers.  Your ability to capture the enormous beauty of our state and nature within our city was inspiring. 

The above photo is of the lake at West Moreland Park captured by photographer Gary Wilson using infrared.  Beautiful Gary!