nAscent Art New York nabs two “Best of the Year” art noms

nAscent Art New York curated sculpture Crassula Muscosa #1, by Paul Clarence Oglesby, at the Thompson Austin hotel.

nAscent Art New York curated the fun, complex mural "Where's Richard", an original by Paul Clarence Oglesby, for Virgin Hotel New York.

nAscent Art New York curated mural “Where’s Richard”, by Nigel Sussman, at the Virgin Hotel New York.

nAscent Art New York logo

nAscent Art New York logo

nAscent Art New York, a New York art consultancy, earned two nominations for best “Custom Art” of 2022 from the prestigious HD Awards.

So many amazing projects every year, so many fantastic artists–we’re happy to be nominated, such an honor!”

— James Wallace, CEO of nAscent Art New York

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, April 18, 2023/ — nAscent Art New York Inc., the award-winning, trendsetting art consultancy from James and Jennifer Wallace, earned two nominations from the 2023 HD Awards, recognizing the best of the best in hospitality design, in an announcement today.

With two original artworks nominated in the category of “Custom Art + Installations” and selected from over 300 entries by industry professionals, nAscent nominees included “Where’s Richard”, a 24-foot hand-painted mural by artist Nigel Sussman, delighting guests in the main lobby of the Virgin Hotel New York, and “Crassula Muscosa #1”, a majestic, 8-foot tall custom concrete sculpture by Austin-based sculptor Paul Clarence Oglesby, stopping people in their tracks at the Thompson Hotel in Austin.

“So many amazing projects every year, so many fantastic artists–we’re happy to be nominated, such an honor,” said James Wallace, nAscent’s co-founder and CEO.

“Where’s Richard” artist Sussman incorporated nearly 50 different elements, densely packed to generate energy similar to the energy of New York City and the Virgin brand. For example, Sussman painted a tank running over soda cans (a nod to the US launch of Virgin Cola in 1994), the “mural within the mural” of the hotel lobby, and, if you look closely, even Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson himself.

Inspired by MC Escher, the original SimCity computer game, Wimmelbilderbuch (German, literally “teeming picture book”), and “Where’s Waldo” artist Martin Hanford, Sussman caught the attention of nAscent associate Mariah McVey because of his playful, well-executed details and style.

“His work really struck me right away,” said McVey. “We envisioned him being central to the lobby–his work is so much fun.”

“We collaborated closely with Nigel throughout the commission process, on everything from colors to which elements to include, to their actual positions in the mural,” said Jennifer Wallace, the co-founder and nAscent’s art director. “We’re so glad he brought this commission to life with his voice.”

“We’re thrilled for our team’s hard work to be acknowledged,” said James. “Of course, without the artists, Virgin Hotels, and Lam Generation, none of this is possible. We’re glad they took a chance, made great choices–and let us create this art journey from concept to reality.”

A world away in Austin Texas, when guests turn the corner inside the Thompson Hotel, a sculpture stops them in their tracks. A casual review of social media posts from the hotel reveals photos of food, people, and artist Paul Clarence Oglesby’s towering “Crassula Muscosa #1”, with Instagram influencer “erikacaincreative” commenting, “Where do you choose to discover inspiration? For me, a hotel lobby in Austin.”

“Paul’s work is beautiful, powerful, and monumental,” said Jessica Larsen, an associate at nAscent. “Plus, he’s a local artist, so we really wanted that connection.”

Made entirely of hand-cast concrete, each of the 150+ pieces of the sculpture gets progressively smaller, starting with the base piece, about the size of a punchbowl, to the smallest piece at the top, about the size of a small oyster. From a sculptural series named “Zygo” (which means “connected” in Latin), the sculpture’s forms are created from found and recycled objects. Because of the sculpture’s height, weight, and size, nAscent coordinated with on-site construction teams to drill into the solid concrete floor, creating a deep anchor point for the artist from which to build up around metal pipe cores.

“I remember Paul showing up with all these concrete pieces,” recalled James, who facilitated Oglesby’s assembly of the sculpture. “He’s an experienced artist, so he really didn’t need ‘help’ per se. Once on-site, he brought it together quickly.”

“I love how the sculpture inspires awe in people–the sheer size, the contrast of the small and large pieces, the tension of looking strong and delicate at the same time. It’s a beautiful piece, and beautifully lit as well,” said Jen. “Thanks to Simeone and Deary Design Group, Thompson Hotels, and Magellan Development, this amazing sculpture will continue to inspire for many years.”

All winners and finalists will be recognized in June during a ceremony in New York, and showcased in Hospitality Design magazine’s May/June issue.

James Wallace
nAscent Art New York, Inc.
+1 415-568-8878
email us here
Visit us on social media:

Originally published at

Previous articleSunset Hospitality Group & African Hospitality Group Lanzan nuevas experiencias Lifestyle en Marruecos
Next articleCoco de Chom Selected to Participate in Wildly Respected Hook’d Magazine Spring Fashion Show