Designer Doors For Charity

Viceroy Chicago

In October 2018, Viceroy Chicago launched Designer Doors for Charity, a charitable initiative in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The month-long collaboration with eight Chicago artists asked them each to create and paint a design inspired by fighting breast cancer directly onto the guest room doors of the hotel’s fifth floor. The participating creatives were Chicago-based artists Justus Roe, Tracee Badway, Janet Hamilton, Shar Coulson, Kate Tully, Doug Frohman, Alma Dominguez and Veronica Martinez. The eight artists are active voices in the Chicago art community whose aesthetic and style promise unique interpretations on the subject of breast cancer. 

A portion of revenue from all room stays on the fifth floor during the month were donated to the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation, a Chicago-based cancer research non-profit. 

Room 504 | Justus Roe

Room 504 | Justus Roe

The door painting is primarily abstract and hopefully open ended enough for people to apply their own narrative experience. THe piece will hopefully create a brief moment for people seeing it that captures the waves of emotional intensity created in confronting cancer. ALso, that those complex feelings are often shifting over time. For guests staying in the room, artist Justus Roe hopes they will be able to see the piece through different vantage points and under varying lighting conditions to get a sense of those feelings of transformation.

Room 505 | Veronica Martinez

Room 505 | Veronica Martinez

The design of Veronica’s door is inspired by her aunt, Maria Luisa, who’s strength allowed her the ability to see beauty in the broken and discarded. Her home is filled with reclaimed furniture, mosaic creations and flowers and Veronica wanted to show her in her element. Although this door revolves around breast cancer it really is about her aunt. She is one of many affected by cancer and Veronica hopes when women affected by breast cancer see her image they will know they are not alone.

Room 506 | Shar Coulson

Room 506 | Shar Coulson

Shar Coulson’s work is an interplay between perception and reality. Some viewers may see figures ,animals or plant-like forms, but others only abstract shapes and colors. The reality of the painting is no more than each viewer’s unique perception. The viewer’s experiences dictate their perception and reality allowing unlimited viewpoints seen within a single composition.

The door painting is title “Passion Prevails” and is dedicated to Shar’s mother, several friends and all those who have fought their way through to the other side.

Room 508 | Kate Tully

Room 508 | Kate Tully

Artist Kate Tully referenced the metamorphosis of the butterfly to represent the various stages of breast cancer. The bottom third of the door is dark and botanical, with cocooned figures waiting to emerge into wellness. Above that, an image of a tightrope walker, balancing on a web, to represent the uncertainty. The top half of the door moves into color and exuberance. The butterfly rushes into life, embracing the gift of life every day.

Room 510 | Tracee Badway

Room 510 | Tracee Badway

This door is dedicated to artist Tracee Badway’s aunt, Dorita, who is a recent survivor of breast cancer. The chosen colors highlight her colorful, positive, and glowing personality. The feminine roses symbolize her aunt’s overall delicacy and beauty. All roses have thorns which describe her strength and resilience during her ordeal. Her flowers continue to bloom and many others after her will find strength and hope through their journeys.

Room 512 | Alma Dominguez

Room 512 | Alma Dominguez

It is common to hear phrases like “run like a girl,” “jump like girls,” and “fight like a girl” used in a derogatory way, but girls are not weak. The women who are fighting or have fought in the battle against cancer (of any kind) have all Alma’s respect and admiration. Alma wanted to paint a woman fighting as a representation of all the brave women everywhere. #fightlikeagirl

Room 514 | Doug Frohman

Room 514 | Doug Frohman

Doug Frohman is a mid-career, contemporary artist based in Chicago who describes his work as “ambient, atmospheric geometries.” His inscription on the door of Viceroy Chicago, room 514 reads: “We love and support our everyday heroes.” This disease has played a part in so many lives; so cruel, so random, so widespread, still an unresolved, painful part of the human story. But just as we have safely travelled to the moon and back, climbed Mount Everest, shattered the sound barrier and split the atom, so oo will we arrive at a cure for this blight upon humanity’s health and “beat cancer.”