Broadway Hotel unveils "Wall of Hope" chalkboard exhibit

Friday, December 27, 2013 | 7:39 p.m. CST
Employees at The Broadway-Columbia, a new hotel downtown, unveiled a new art exhibit Friday called the "Wall of Hope." People can stop by to write messages of hope for 2014.

COLUMBIA ─ What do you wish for in 2014? A new job? Immortality? A trip to Korea? Love?

Too bad, those are all taken.

Months before it starts accepting guests, The Broadway-Columbia hotel has invited Columbia residents to participate in its first art exhibit: "The Wall of Hope," a 240 square-foot chalkboard where passers-by can write their hopes and dreams for the coming year.

James Lee, the hotel's revenue manager, wished for a healthy baby. He and his wife are expecting a child in May. If it's a girl, they're going to name her Olivia; if it's a boy, Oliver.

From learning how to drive to getting a new job, the board welcomes "any messages of hope," the hotel's Director of Nightlife Luke Miller said. The wall was inspired by another chalkboard art installation called "Before I Die," which Miller had seen in the Czech Republic in September.

Jennifer Perlow, former owner of the Perlow-Stevens Gallery — now the PS Gallery — in Columbia, is coordinating local artists to provide hundreds of pieces of artwork for the hotel.

Although The Broadway will not feature a theme, the decor will be a "nod to nature with a contemporary twist," Perlow said, including one sculpture that she described as "a metal interpretation of the Ozark waterways."

The Broadway — owned by DoubleTree, a subsidiary of Hilton Worldwide — will follow some of the same practices as the parent company's other hotels, like offering a warm cookie to every guest at check-in. But the rest of the hotel's personality, Miller said, will be up to its staff.

Although the cookie dough comes premade, Miller said the hotel's restaurant — ElevenEleven, named after the hotel's East Broadway address — will feature wines and seasonal ingredients from local farmers.

The Broadway Hotel is accepting reservations for March 21 onward, but General Manager Bob McDonald said he would like to open in time for the True/False Film Festival in February.

Supervising editor is Adam Aton.

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