Art in Focus: Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront

Our talented Art Curation team worked on this incredible collection at Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront. From pale blue waves to crystalline white foam, the colors at this hotel exude a sense of serenity.


The trend toward Biophilic Design we discussed a few posts back is still going strong! The art collection at Sheraton Virginia Beach Waterfront is a great example of an unexpected expression of biophilic design: inspired by the ocean that lends the hotel its name, this art mimics the life of the sea rather than land-loving flora and fauna. Working with designers at Baskervill, the Kalisher Curation team partnered with artist Abbie Powers to create a cascading installation of ephemeral sea shell shapes formed and suspended in the atrium of a stairwell. The installation greets guests in the lobby of the hotel. Other artwork at the hotel includes custom dimensional cast panels behind the reception desk and a suite of bespoke art pieces by our in-house Studio Artists that liven up public dining and lounge spaces.

In this series of process photographs, artist Abbie Powers walks us through some of the steps she went through to create this artwork. Measuring a towering total of fifteen feet high and composed of 500 individual laser-cut and hand-formed acrylic pieces, this waterfall of shell-shaped forms aims to mimic the movement and energy of the nearby ocean. Abbie drew each shape herself, then translated her drawings to file formats that could be cut out by a laser cutter. She then heat sculpted each figure by hand, creating the unique, gentle curves shown in the final pieces. Some of the translucent sea shell forms were sand blasted to mimic the appearance of beach-ground sea glass.

Says Powers, “The sea shell forms were hand-drawn by me – I do all of the laser cutting myself.”

Abbie then arrived on-site at the Sheraton and carefully hung each of the 500 shaped forms from fine wire attached to a ceiling mount. The result? A crashing wave frozen in space! Many parts combine to make a shimmering whole, calling to mind the spray of waves rolling into the shore. The colors complement the hotel’s coastal surroundings and interior design palette, settling in beautifully amongst the rest of the property’s art collection. Thank you for sharing your process with us, Abbie!


Silhouettes of shells, beach glass, and smooth stones stack up in preparation.
Flat shapes become abstracted, twisting forms as they’re heat formed by hand. Feathers? Ocean spray? Seashells? One’s imagination decides.
Various shapes and silhouettes bend and mold in the artist’s hand as each one is made unique.
Some of the green forms have been sandblasted – the texture changes how the light falls through them, adding even more depth to the final installation.
The final installation includes a range of hues reminiscent of the shore, suspended and lit from above in the multi-story atrium.
A master of dimensional installations, artist Abbie Powers helped make this stairwell atrium shine. The final installation sparkles with shades of copper and gold shells amidst the tumble of bright white and sea foam green.

Keep an eye out for more on the Kalisher blog. Find art to inspire on Art Lab and at our Instagram.

Peek behind the scenes of Kalisher and see our latest & greatest.

Scroll to Top