Hunt Slonem’s Painting “Looming” on Loan at the Courtyard Marriott in Downtown Gainesville

Brenau University Galleries is pleased to announce that it has decided to Loan one of 76 Hunt Slonem paintings within Brenau University’s extensive Permanent Art Collection to the new Courtyard Marriott located in the heart of Downtown Gainesville, GA. The painting will be on loan for a year with an option to renew the loan each year.

The 8 x 6 foot painting of colorful butterflies, titled, Looming, has been installed on a prominent wall of the 2nd floor lobby along with other local and regional artists. Jeff Payne, owner of the new Marriott with Liz Barr of Artist Resource, worked with Director of Galleries, Gena Brodie Robbins to organize and finally install the piece.

The Courtyard Marriott will be having its Grand Opening on Sept. 7th, 2023 and will also feature several additional works from the Brenau University Permanent Art Collection by artists, Winnie Gier, William Thompson, and LeeAnn White to be displayed in the Vault Gallery, a new event space located in a historic 1930’s building just across the street and diagonal from the Marriott.

Read more about Hunt Slonem Below and watch a video or two on his life, his works and his incredible Showroom and studio in NYC. Videos are published on Youtube by CBS Sunday Morning and Open House NYC.


View the Hunt Slonem Showroom and his incredible collection of Top hats, harps, plants and 65 pet parrots!


Can you pick out the works that are now part of the Brenau University Permanent Art Collection? Many of these works are displayed  throughout the Downtown Center and the East Campus Occupational Therapy Wing.

Hunt Slonem, born in Kittery, Maine in 1951, is an American artist best known for his “maximalist” paintings of wildlife exotica —most famously birds, rabbits and butterflies, drawing inspiration from the spiritual and natural worlds. Slonem repeats these motifs on an epic scale in an act of visual and artistic mantra, rendered through loose, gestural brushwork. His figures dissolve into rhythmic patterns at the edges of abstraction, creating symphonies of color, line and form across a highly textural canvas. The painting Looming, on loan from Brenau University’s Permanent Art Collection, is a prime example of his repeated butterfly motif, an element used in many of his works, painted in a bold expressive style.

According to Slonem, the repetitive imagery is a reference to Andy Warhol: “I was influenced by Warhol’s repetition of soup cans and Marilyn, but I’m more interested in doing it in the sense of prayer … it’s really a form of worship.” Slonem’s deep interest in nature, its jungle creatures, and his own 60 pet birds are reflected in his choice of subject matter. “I’m exhilarated by nature, including birds, plants and butterfly forms that most people don’t even know exist. I collected all of those things when I was an exchange student in Nicaragua, and caught my first morpho butterfly, which is an exquisite iridescent blue when I was 16. I think my art comes from being born somehow conscious of other realms, which is what the divine is all about. I grew orchids as a child, and have long recognized that orchids and birds come from those places as a gift to humanity.” 

Slonem has also received critical acclaim for his restorations of national historic monuments, including gilded age mansions and antebellum plantations, which the artist saves from neglect and fills with installations combining his work with collections of 19th century antiques.

Slonem has exhibited the world-over and has had over 350 shows, including 20 museum exhibitions. He has exhibited in the Solomon R. Guggenheim museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Airo foundation, and the New Orleans Museum of Art. He has also had a special exhibitions with the National Museum of Art in Kiev and the Odessa Museum of Eastern and Western art. Slonem’s works are in public and private collections all over the world, including Brenau University in Gainesville, GA, who has received over 75 hunt Slonem paintings and sculptures.   

Hunt Slonem lives and works in his art studios located in both New York City and Louisiana.