(NEWS RELEASE) -- 21c Museum Hotel announced that a flock of limited edition Yellow Penguin sculptures by Italian artists Cracking Art Group will make its way to Cincinnati after a brief exhibition at 21c Louisville. 21c Museum Hotels founders Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson chose the color yellow for Cincinnati as a symbol of the optimism and growth that energizes not only the art scene in Cincinnati, but the city as a whole. Yellow is also the color of gold, which references Cincinnati’s nickname, The Queen City. The hotel, scheduled to open later this year, will combine a 156 room boutique hotel, a contemporary art museum and Metropole restaurant led by chef Michael Paley. In conjunction with the announcement, 21c is launching a contest online that invites fans to spot the penguin for a chance to win prizes.
“We have enjoyed getting to know the people and city of Cincinnati, and are thoroughly impressed with all of the work that the Mayor and 3CDC are doing,” said Steve Wilson, Founder and CEO. “Laura Lee and I felt that yellow was the right color to capture the vibrancy of this great city and we are looking forward to opening our doors here soon.”
Cracking Art Group’s Red Penguin sculptures were first exhibited at 21c Louisville in 2006. Brown and Wilson purchased the sculptures after seeing them perched around the city at the 2005 Venice Biennale as part of a public art project. The penguins were so popular with visitors to 21c that they have remained on permanent exhibition.
“The public really chose the penguins,” says Wilson. “They were part of our opening exhibition in Louisville and people couldn’t help but interact with them. They would move them around, take photos with them, take them to dinner and to their rooms. Then our team got in on the fun and now we have penguins moving around all over the property. They have really become an icon, and are emblematic of our mission to show people the interactive nature of contemporary art.”
The mission of Cracking Art Group is to raise awareness of environmental issues and the use and misuse of natural resources by creating artworks with materials derived from petroleum products. The name Cracking Art refers to the chemical reaction that occurs when converting raw crude oil into plastic, or the moment when natural becomes artificial. Founded in 1993, Cracking Art Group has created over 600 exhibitions worldwide. Each new 21c Museum Hotel will have its own flock of penguins.