Super 8 motel rooms aren't exactly known for their chic and modern decor. But the budget hotel brand is now undergoing a transformation, shedding its old skin and stepping into a fresher, sleeker design. It’s out with the old and in with the new, and visitors to the "Super 8 Innov8te" Art Basel show in Wynwood this Thursday from 8 to 10 p.m. can find their treasures in another man’s trash — for free.
“Nothing dates a room more than old art and floral bed covers,” explains Mike Mueller, senior vice president of brand for Super 8. “We started with contemporary bedding and flat-screen TVs, and now it is culminated in what we call the Innov8te art collection. As a result, all that not-so-super art is coming off the walls. We wanted to give it a proper sendoff, in a fun way, to celebrate this art.”
Among the velvet-rope-lined, guarded exhibits at Art Basel, Super 8’s mantra is, you can not only touch the art, but you can also take it home with you. Grab a retro vase of flowers, a moon-lit landscape, or something more abstract. It may look like something straight out of your grandmother’s house, but the show is all about appreciating the kitschy art that might just be destined for a perfect place in your powder room.
Though these outdated pieces are coming off the walls, this is not the end of art at Super 8. In fact, the chain's design refresh celebrates creative display and the local towns that these hotels call home.
“We took two of the most mundane things in a guest room, the headboards and old wall art, and we combined them into a unique piece of furniture using black-and-white photography as oversized headboards,” Mueller adds. “The photography is chosen by our hotel owners from a collection of thousands of hyperlocal images, something that represents their region most.”
The giveaway during Miami’s Art Basel is just one of many shows of this kind for Super 8. With about 200,000 beds across North America, the brand certainly has plenty of art left for the giving. The first-come-first-served grab-and-go show most recently hit New York City, where the turnout was anything but abysmal. “We had people literally fighting over pieces of old hotel art. It’s really retro and ironic, and I think that’s what people like about it.”
"Super 8 Innov8te" will be held at 2801 NW Second Ave. in Wynwood this Thursday, December 1, from 8 to 10 p.m. About 60 retro pieces will be on display and available for the taking — and possibly perfect for a Throwback Thursday. But when they're gone, they're gone, so hurry in.
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“We’re a brand with a sense of humor. We know who we are, and we’re dependable and certainly spirited.”