Photos by Nicholas Wray

If You Build It, They Will Come
Art Hotel • 7th and L Streets, Sacramento • Feb. 5–13, 2016

For Sacramento’s burgeoning art scene, there is pre-Art Hotel, and there is post-Art Hotel, it’s really that simple. For the last week and a half, Art Hotel was all anyone was talking about. It was everywhere: TV, print, web and especially plastered all over social media. We’ve never seen the arts take the front seat like this in Sacramento, at least not in recent memory.

For the uninitiated, Art Hotel was a temporary project where nearly 100 artists—local to global—transformed the soon-to-be-demolished Jade Apartments building in downtown Sacramento into an incredibly unique and immersive art experience. Think art museum tour meets creepy carnival attraction, meets real-life choose-your-own-adventure book. Rooms, bathrooms, hallways, stairways, tiny little nooks and crannies; literally everywhere you looked there was art.

An inside source tells Submerge that nearly 15,000 people toured the Art Hotel during the nine days it was open. Thousands more were turned away because the free half-hour tours kept “selling out.” To say that Art Hotel proves there is a demand in Sacramento for this sort of creative project would be a rude understatement. This was a pivotal moment for the arts in Sacramento.

To see a list of all participating artists and to learn about the project’s coordinators and their future plans, visit

    Jonathan Carabba

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    Find me at the bowling alley. Co-founder + Advertising Director + Marketing at Submerge. Contact: