On May 26th, The Vendue held the opening reception for the New York Academy of Art exhibition. With over 40 pieces being shown by some of the most progressive artists to come from the acclaimed art school, the opening proved that Charleston’s love of contemporary art is only growing stronger. To celebrate this exciting exhibition, we sat down with Jon Weitz, president of Avocet Hospitality Group, to talk about the history and growth of The Vendue.
Weitz, who purchased and renovated The Vendue to make it the boutique art hotel that it is today, grew up in downtown Charleston. Despite what you might think, Jon did not come from an art background. While working as a lawyer several years ago, he sat in on design meetings for The Sanctuary on Kiawah and quickly realized that he had both a passion and a knack for hospitality. From there, Jon acquired Avocet Properties on Folly Beach and soon purchased and fully renovated what is now the Tides Hotel. It wasn’t long after opening the Tides that Jon received a phone call about a hotel in downtown Charleston.
It was with The Vendue that Jon knew he had something special. When discussing the renovation with his designers and architects, Jon said, “I know we’re designing a great hotel, but we need a Peabody Duck.” In other words, Jon wanted to create a place that people had to visit when in Charleston. He wanted to create something that was unique and had staying power. So Jon and his team got to work—creating luxurious rooms in an art museum setting, complete with lighting to showcase rotating works of art. These rotating works of art and exhibits are curated by, none other than, Robert and Megan Lange.
Since reopening in 2014 as “The Vendue,” Charleston’s first boutique hotel dedicated to the arts, it’s clear to see that Charleston now has its own Peabody Duck. And with exhibits like the New York Academy of Art, it’s clear to see that The Vendue is living up to its own motto of “inspiring guests at every turn.”
The New York Academy of Art exhibit is open to the public through October 2016.
The Vendue is also the first hotel in Charleston to feature an artist in residence program. To see the current artist in residence, Fred Jamar, at work, visit The Vendue for a tour or watch Fred paint during the Manager’s Reception each week.