Kelly Wearstler Adds Another Jewel to the Austin Proper’s Crown, and Other News

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The Quill Room

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Kelly Wearstler Adds Another Jewel to the Austin Proper’s Crown

Austin Proper Hotel has unveiled its latest hospitality venture: The Quill Room, an enchanting cocktail lounge fashioned by renowned designer Kelly Wearstler, who conceived the entire property from tip to toe. This exclusive space joins the hotel’s culinary repertoire including the Mediterranean-inspired The Peacock, vintage cocktail bar Goldie’s, and rooftop gem La Piscina. The Quill Room is a tapestry of old-world charm and contemporary elegance, tucked away on the second floor for hotel guests and residents. It’s the kind of place made for a late-night rendezvous, against a backdrop of live music and French-inspired menu. 

The aesthetics are as vibey as the ambiance. At its heart is a bar, a fusion of wood and metal with neon touches by a local Austin artist, greeting guests along with a bartender who might be shaking up a Bordeaux Sour or perhaps an ice-cold number from the martini menu. Furnishings from the ‘60s to the ‘90s, sourced from across Europe and the local renowned Round Top Antiques Market, add an eclectic charm that feels like one of Paris’s turn-of-the-century salons was kissed with a Texas touch. –Nate Storey

Rendering of “Point of Infinity.” Image courtesy of Hiroshi Sugimoto

A Hiroshi Sugimoto sculpture launches San Francisco’s Treasure Island Art Program. 

San Francisco’s skyline has undergone significant changes due to real estate development, and now a new artwork by Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto is subtly altering the city’s landscape. Sugimoto has installed a slender stainless steel sculpture called Point of Infinity on Yerba Buena Island, serving as an anchor for the area’s public art program. The sculpture, with its unique curved geometry, appears to grow infinitely smaller and taller as it reaches towards the outer atmosphere, embodying the artist’s concept of the infinity point. The artwork is part of the Treasure Island Arts Program, which aims to transform Yerba Buena Island and Treasure Island into a new cultural destination with public spaces and affordable housing.

Mike Amiri is expanding his fashion-focused Amiri Prize to include global applicants. 

Mike Amiri has announced the launch of the second edition of the Amiri Prize, demonstrating continued support for emerging fashion designers. Initially established in 2021, the annual award and incubator program aims to nurture and showcase up-and-coming American talent that might otherwise be overlooked. This year, the program has been expanded to include international designers, offering the winner a $100,000 prize and a yearlong mentorship with Amiri himself. The inaugural edition of the prize was won by Lou Badger, the founder of a Philadelphia brand specializing in genderless custom designs made from recycled materials.

Pace Gallery opens a Berlin office led by former König Galerie partner Laura Attanasio.

Pace Gallery is expanding into Berlin with the appointment of Laura Attanasio as senior director. Attanasio, formerly a partner at König Galerie, will establish a new private office in the German capital to explore the region’s untapped potential. This move reflects the growing appeal of German-speaking Europe to global art market players, and Pace aims to prioritize institutional projects and new business opportunities in the region through Attanasio’s expertise. While Pace currently has no plans for a full-fledged gallery in Berlin, the presence of several of their artists in the city further supports their expansion into the German art scene.

Diebedo Francis Kéré. Photography by Erik Petersen, courtesy Tippet Rise Art Center

Pritzker Prize winner Diébédo Francis Kéré has received the inaugural Cosanti Medal.

Diébédo Francis Kéré has received the inaugural Cosanti Medal from The Cosanti Foundation, adding to his recent accolades that include the Pritzker Prize. The award was created to honor individuals, firms, or organizations that have made significant contributions to the field of arcology, blending architecture and ecology. Kéré, known for his innovative use of materials and engagement with regional craft traditions, founded his firm in 2005 and has built a diverse portfolio of projects spanning civic infrastructure to temporary installations. The Cosanti Foundation aims to promote equitable, resilient, and sustainable community designs.

A study suggests that influencer marketing is starting to lose favor with consumers.

A new study suggests influencer marketing is losing favor with consumers, who are now gravitating more toward user-generated content (UGC). The EnTribe survey, conducted in April and involving more than 1,000 American consumers aged 18 to 60, found that 86 percent of respondents are more likely to trust brands that feature UGC, compared to 12 percent inclined to buy products endorsed by influencers. Additionally, 81 percent stated that influencer marketing has either no impact or a negative impact on their perception of a brand, with 51 percent admitting to scrolling past influencer posts. The shift towards UGC is driven by “influencer fatigue” and the desire for more authentic promotion methods.

The winners of the Afri-Plastics Challenge are cleverly combating plastic pollution.

The Canadian government and Challenge Works have revealed winners of the Afri-Plastics Challenge, an accelerator program for African companies combating plastic pollution. Nine projects were awarded a total prize fund of £4.1 million ($5.1 million), with initiatives including a reusable diaper subscription in Rwanda and a Kenyan company producing washing-up brushes from discarded coconut fibers. These winning projects are driving African innovation to address the global issue of plastic waste, contributing to increased recycling rates and offering new income sources for communities.

Image courtesy of Ikea

Today’s attractive distractions:

Ikea is bringing a 19-foot-tall FRAKTA bag to Chicago’s Millennium Park.

Global brands have been eyeing stateside expansion in shopping malls.

The new Spider-Man film sneaks in references to Jeff Koons and Banksy.

Is Sotheby’s purchase of the former Whitney Museum building a “tragedy?”

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