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The Franklin Hotel debuts new bar, showcases local artist at 'The Art of Enjoyment'

The Art of Enjoyment at The Franklin Hotel will host the artwork of Sudie Rakusin. Photo by Besty Bertram.

If you want yoga, art and Champagne all in one place, The Franklin Hotel is the place to be. On Tuesday, the hotel will be hosting “The Art of Enjoyment” to display the work of local artist Sudie Rakusin and introduce the community to its new bar, Refuge. 

From 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Betsy Bertram will host an all-levels yoga class. From 6:30 to 8 p.m., there will be a celebration with Champagne and appetizers, as well as a chance to see Rakusin’s art. 

The art is displayed in the large windows on Franklin Street and in the bar itself. There are paper-mâché poppies, tables, birds and other pieces, all featuring intricate patterns and beading. One painting has fiber optics in it that will light up at night.

Rakusin said her art is a reflection of her ideal world — non-hierarchical and with deep respect for the other. 

All of Rakusin’s pieces will be for sale, as well as reproductions such as box sets of divination cards she created. Rakusin said it is important to her to share her art with people. 

“I want them to be surrounded by these things that are life-giving and positive and beautiful and all-inclusive,” Rakusin said. 

Jennifer Beranek Norris, sales director of The Franklin, said the collaboration came about because the hotel was trying to brainstorm a way to fill the windows on Franklin Street. Bertram, who has worked with the hotel in the past, suggested looking at Rakusin’s work.

“We decided it’d be a great way to feature a local artist and activate the street and just be able to have that community involvement and really feature someone who’s pretty deeply ingrained in the community,” Norris said. 

Norris encouraged people to come to the event. She said it is a great opportunity to support the artistic community, as well as enjoy some sparkling wine and appetizers. 

Refuge is the result of a renovation that began in 2018. Jay Patel, owner of The Franklin, said he wanted a completely reimagined space. He said the bar is not just for hotel guests, and he wants it to bring together people from all over the community. 

“We want lots of different types of people hanging out and coexisting and sharing ideas, and we think this is a good example, so for folks to see this beautiful art and take some meaning in it and then connect that to 'OK, well here’s a space that is fostering this creative energy,'” Patel said. 

The name, “The Art of Enjoyment,” was Rakusin’s idea. She said "art" has two meanings — her art and the art of gathering and having a good time. 

Patel said the name suggests intentionality and actively enjoying. Students should come to the event, he said, because events like this in the community are for them, too, and not just the “grown-ups.” 

“What I would want people to take away is this realization that this space is being created for them, for this community,” Patel said. “And we want people to come and just make it their own.”

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