There’s a special subset of art appreciation for the works that hang on the walls of hotel rooms—especially the art that hangs in budget motels. Super 8, the ubiquitous budget hotel chain, is self-aware enough to recognize this, so when the company decided to modernize the interior design of its rooms (and update the art selection), it threw a fitting send-off for all those wonderfully mediocre landscapes. Yes, Super 8 had a gallery show.
This week, Super 8 lined the walls of a Manhattan gallery with all the watercolors and hunting landscapes and tepid still-lifes previously found in its hotel rooms, in a show called When The Art Comes Down: Works from The Super 8 Collection. These “not-so-super” artworks, as the company refers to them, were then given out for free to whoever wanted to make their apartment look like the Super 8 of years past.
More than 1800 Super 8s have now been remodeled to feature black-and-white and sepia-toned images of landmarks and scenery local to the hotel in question, like the Portland-centric posters below. Some of the hotels hadn’t seen a change in wall decor in 40 years.
You may have missed the chance to get a free budget hotel painting, but we can still appreciate these wonderfully (un)inspired pieces from afar, before they’re forgotten.
All images by Cindy Ord/Getty Images courtesy of Super 8.