President Mokgweetsi Masisi last week offi cially launched Room 50two Hotel at i-Towers (CBD), Gaborone.
Th e highlight of the evening was the exquisite art pieces that were auctioned at the event, which took place at its fi ne dining restaurant Table 50two. Masisi said the fact that all the artworks were by local artists was a very welcome development. “The pieces of art used in this hotel are sourced locally, a very commendable undertaking that should be accompanied by quality production on the part of the suppliers,” he said. Th ere were 13 art pieces in total up for auction on the night. The most expensive piece was auctioned off for P45 000 while the cheapest went for P13 000.
When giving her remarks, Art Consultant at Room 50two Renee Khonat said it had been long overdue for local artists to be given the recognition and appreciation they deserve. She said after all visual art by its nature
refl ects society in all its forms, socially, politically, culturally, economically and personally. “When art is treated with respect, reverence and a delicate touch, society is elevated to a position of grace, greater life and well being,” she said. Adding, “The initiative by the Room50two developers to showcase local artists should be lauded as a bridge building event to create accessibility for those that stand alone grappling with their personal expressions of our inextricably joined lives.”
Khonat further said curating and selecting the artworks was made diffi cult by the high quality of the work that was submitted. “Not only that but also the highly creative interpretation of a specified brief and the varied expression of social and cultural life,” she added.
She said such advanced artistic overview gave the panel a glimpse of how each artist thinks and works on many levels. “Be it personal, local, regional, tribal and so on. To me it was a feast of visual overload, yet inspiring and fascinating at core. I thoroughly enjoyed myself,” said an excited Khonat. She said she was also stunned by how the art pieces naturally blended with the interior d├®cor of the hotel yet it was unplanned.
Eighty percent of the proceeds from the auction went to Loborta (Lobone Botswana Retired Teachers Association) which is the chosen charity organization, while 20 percent will go into the pockets of the artists. The hotel is strategically located in the CBD, the hub of business activity in Gaborone. It is part of the ODE Hospitality group, which owns Travel Lodge Gaborone, Travel Lodge Kasane and the Kalahari Arms Hotel in Ghanzi. Room 50two alone has a staff compliment of just over 100 employees.
Th e entire management team is made up of citizens. It also boasts a room capacity of 57.
Khonat said in their future art auctions they will engage with diff erent artists each time to ensure that eventually all artists in the country get a piece of the pie. “We will also choose a diff erent charity each time we give proceeds from an auction,” she said.