ART OVATION HOTEL, opening this month as Sarasota’s latest luxury lodging, unites two of Sarasota’s top industries—arts and hospitality—for a landmark in the making. Aside from the expected amenities of a fine dining restaurant, rooftop pool and bar, fitness center and 162 rooms with all the latest in comfort and technology, Art Ovation Hotel brings an unparalleled artistic element to the equation, right down to hiring its own cultural curator on staff. “My first impression was wow,” says Lisa DiFranza, who jumped at the opportunity and now organizes the myriad events and exhibitions available for guests. Previously executive and artistic director for the Children’s Theatre of Maine, DiFranza also formerly taught drama at the Julliard School in New York and recently served on the faculty of Columbia College Chicago. In addition to rotating exhibits on the hotel’s ground floor, an artist in residence program and an artist’s studio constructed off the lobby, guests can take advantage of origami classes, ukulele lessons on the roof, weekly international wine and guitar pairings and countless opportunities for interaction with local theaters and musicians, including Saturday brunches with the improv team from Florida Studio Theatre. “We have so much planned,” says DiFranza. “We’re really eager to invite the local arts community into the hotel for anything and everything.” Entitled Legacy, the first exhibition pays homage to the hotel’s new home, highlighting work from Ringling College of Art and Design faculty and alumni.