A History of Tipping Our 'HAT' to Art

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Frank Juliano.
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It’s been about seven years since The Grand Summit Hotel and HAT Tavern management decided that helping cultivate the art scene in a town long on history would be a good idea. Hatched from a simple conversation between a hotel general manager and a financial advisor with a passion for art, the movement started as a way to bring in a culture of art -- long cultivated in New York -- to the sleepy leafy suburbs of Summit, home to some of New York’s most prominent figures.

Originally, the hotel became an extension of the downtown artwork movement that Michael Tcheyan, a local resident at the time, championed. Following a meeting with hotel General Manager Mark Giangiulio, the movement picked up steam with its connection to the hotel as a place for artists to show off their work and create conversation from the hotel’s impressive mix of guests from the world’s many cultures and places.

The movement took on additional importance when Fran Juliano of Summit’s Reeves-Reed Arboretum called on his vast Rolodex of esteemed artists and collectors to jump on board. The relationship has produced some of the most exciting exhibitions this side of the Hudson.

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Fast forward, and the historic hotel is now on its 15th installment, a current HAT Tavern show entitled 'Vinyl Collection', which features the works of Heidler & Heeps. The signed limited edition photographic prints currently displayed are the product of two independently successful photographers who have collaborated to make this beautifully mesmerizing collection. Richard Heeps and Natasha Heidler combine to create a celebration of the vinyl record and analogue technology.

Natasha Heidler, 35 was born in Johannesburg. South Africa. Her seductive images are a playful collection of contradictions. She has developed her own dichromatic technique resulting in something which is neither a straight forward photograph or photogram. This special darkroom process confounds and intrigues both art lovers and photographers alike. She has been working in photography since 2005 and, having exhibited all over the world, she has many international collectors.

Richard Heeps, 51, is from Cambridge, England. Richard’s seductive, highly saturated colors, and sophisticated pictorial structures demonstrate a true love and empathy for his subject matter – be it cool, descriptive interiors, still life or landscape, or vinyl. His distinctive style pushes the limits of lens-based photograpy without the need for digital manipulation. In 2007, Richard along with Natasha, founded Bleach Box Photography Gallery, a platform that participates in approximately ten worldwide art fairs a year. Working with artists, they produce their work from negatives in his Cambridge-based darkrooms. He sources the best material to produce high-end fine art pieces, and their works, shown internationally, are in many collections.

Their collaboration at Summit’s HAT Tavern is a beautiful backdrop in a warm, cozy setting. Thirty percent of all art sales benefit the Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit. Be sure not to miss it.

With 149 guest accommodations and over 10,000 square feet of recently-renovated event space, The Grand Summit Hotel -- the shining star in the town of Summit -- remains one of the area’s most prestigious addresses for social and corporate events.

The hotel’s culinary reputation is unmatched in the area and has been extended to the wildly popular HAT Tavern in the hotel’s lower level. The management team built on this success recently with the grand opening of the Arts and Crafts Lobby Bar serving private label coffee and espresso, Ironbound Nitro Brewed Iced Coffee, a selection of hard to find craft beers, and wine.

The Grand Summit Hotel is located at 570 Springfield Avenue in Summit, New Jersey 07901. For more information call the hotel at 908-273-3000 or visit our website at grandsummit.com.   

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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