Native American Artists Transform Guest Rooms into Contemporary Works of Art at the Nativo Lodge Hotel in Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Four SWAIA artists (Heidi Brandow, Nani Chacon, Rhett Lynch and Ehren Kee Natay) will transform guestrooms at the Nativo Lodge into contemporary works of art. These large-scale installations will give guests a unique opportunity to stay in a room surrounded by each artist’s artistic vision.

Rhett Lynch - Designer of Nativo guest room

Rhett Lynch - Nativo Artist Room

These artist rooms take the hotel guest room experience to another level.

Nativo Lodge, a Heritage Hotels and Resorts, Inc. hotel, has commissioned four Native American contemporary artists to transform guestrooms into works of art. This bold artist room project is the first of its kind in New Mexico. “These new artist rooms offer our guests a very unique experience unlike anything else in New Mexico,” said Heritage Hotels and Resorts, Inc. CEO, Jim Long. “Most people experience art in galleries or museum settings. The opportunity for our hotel guests to sleep in a guest room that is an art piece in itself, promises to be one of the most exciting and stimulating experiences anywhere. These artist guest rooms, designed by Native American artists, are deeply rooted in cultural traditions but express themselves in surprising ways. They take the hotel guest room experience to another level.”

Acclaimed SWAIA Native American contemporary artists Heidi Brandow, Nani Chacon, Rhett Lynch and Ehren Kee Natay will kick off the Artist Room project. These New Mexico artists have received local and national attention including accolades from the world-renowned SWAIA Santa Fe Indian Market. Nativo Lodge partnered with SWAIA (Southwestern Association for Indian Arts) to select these featured artists through a juried submission process.


Heidi Brandow (Native Hawaiian/Diné) is a painter whose work commonly portrays personalities found in poetry and personal reflections. Hailing from a long line of Native Hawaiian singers, musicians and dancers on her mother’s side and Diné storytellers and medicine people on her father’s side, she finds that her pursuit of an artistic career comes natural.

Nani Chacon (Diné) started her street art work when she was sixteen and is known for her bold colors and representations of American and Chicana culture. Chacon uses an archetype of female characters to explore ideas of feminism, sexuality, softness, power, culture, traditionalism and modernism.

Rhett Lynch (Diné) has been painting, sculpting, writing and acting for over thirty years. His art conveys the stories and experiences of his indigenous heritage as well as provoking thought and emotions. Lynch's room features a work of art that has 175 prayer ties over the bed, a design that reflects the east morning light and giclee prints on the walls.

Ehren Kee Natay (Diné/Kewa Pueblo) is a recipient of the 2012 SWAIA/Nativo Lodge Rising Artists Fellowship. He is a contemporary street art style artist. His work expresses immense energy and portrays imagery of his culture. Natay’s room includes a buffalo dancer, a water serpent and a photographic print on metal as well as other artistic elements that nod to pop culture figures like The Simpsons characters.

The four guest rooms will be completed in April and will be available to rent in May. They will be priced slightly higher than normal rates. Artist Rooms must be reserved by calling reservations at Nativo Lodge at 505-798-4300. Additional details and photos can be seen at

For media inquiries, contact Maresa Thompson, Marketing & Creative Director at Heritage Hotels & Resorts, Inc. at mthompson(at)hhandr(dot)com or 505-798-4380.

ABOUT HERITAGE HOTELS & RESORTS, INC.: Heritage Hotels and Resorts, Inc. offers a collection of culturally designed hotels in New Mexico. Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town and Nativo Lodge are located in Albuquerque, NM; Hotel St. Francis, The Lodge at Santa Fe, and Hotel Chimayo de Santa Fe are located in Santa Fe, NM; Hotel Encanto de Las Cruces is located in Las Cruces, NM. All hotels are locally and minority owned and support cultural preservation and causes.

SWAIA is an advocate for Native American arts and cultures and creates economic and cultural opportunities for Native American artists by producing and promoting Santa Fe Indian Market Week™, the finest Native American art and cultural event in the world; cultivating excellence and innovation across traditional and non-traditional art forms; and developing programs and events that support, promote, and honor Native artists year-round.

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Tailinh Agoyo
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