Commission Accomplished: The Westin Washington Dulles Airport Hotel

Ruba Kubwa by Kerry Vesper
Ruba Kubwa by Kerry Vesper, zebrawood and Baltic Birch, The Westin Washington Dulles Airport Hotel, DC. Commissioned by Stacy Sklaver, President, ArtMatters Corporate Art Consulting.

“Our best mishap ever.” That’s how Stacy Sklaver, president of Washington, DC, corporate art consulting firm ArtMatters, describes a commission for the Westin Washington Dulles Airport Hotel.

The assignment for commissioned artist Kerry Vesper: create a vertical wall piece for prominent placement behind the hotel’s front registration desk. Working only from architectural drawings for this new hotel construction, Sklaver provided Vesper with the size parameters for the piece and a ten-week lead time to complete the project.

“Working with ArtMatters is the epitome for me—Stacy and her staff are a delight to work with. It is extremely satisfying and rewarding to have Stacy present my work to her clients. Creating a new work or modifying an existing design based on her input is like collaborating with another artist.” –Kerry Vesper, artist

“The designer on this project wanted something very sculptural for the entry of the hotel lobby,” recalls Sklaver. “We wanted a wood piece to add warmth to the large entry space—and we also wanted the artwork to jump off the wall as visitors came to registration.” Having worked with Vesper on several projects in the past, Sklaver knew he was the perfect choice for the Westin project. “Kerry is absolutely delightful in every respect. He listens, is creative, and is quite collaborative. He knew what we were looking for and how to solve the spatial requirements.”

“When the final piece arrived, we all thought it was perfect,” Sklaver says. “It was beautiful and fluid.”

But on the day of the installation, Sklaver and her team walked into the hotel for the first time only to discover that the blank wall where Vesper’s piece was to be installed now had permanent Westin Hotel signage in the middle of the space—a component they had not been informed of. “We had one of those ‘now what?’ moments,” says Sklaver.

Working from years of experience as an art consultant, Sklaver decided to see what would happen if she turned the piece, creating a horizontal sculpture instead of a vertical one. “Fortunately for us, it worked,” notes Sklaver “and when we turned it, we realized Kerry’s sculpture looked like the letter ‘W’ in the Westin signage–how incredibly perfect was that?”

Ruba Kubwa by Kerry Vesper

 Stacy Sklaver is President of ArtMatters, corporate art specialists located in the DC metropolitan area. You can find a list of their clients and installations at