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Motif Visiting Artist Program

Motif Seattle, a Destination by Hyatt Hotel, is a distinctly different yet uniquely Seattle hotel experience, highlighted by vibrant service and inviting spaces that are individually crafted. Inspired by four pillars: music, art/design, culinary, and fashion, Motif Seattle weaves the culture of Seattle throughout the brand and touchpoints. As part of Motif Seattle's commitment to art and the local community, a local designer is selected every two years to create a signature motif that is used throughout the property's touchpoints.

Motif Seattle has announced Todd McKinney as its newly-appointed Motif Visiting Artist from November 2019 through 2021.  Launched in 2014, Motif Seattle’s Visiting Artist Program is a bi-annual collaboration with a local artist to design a custom motif to be used in various ways at the property. The artist’s motif is showcased in the hotel’s stationery, amenities, key cards, and highlighted on the hotel’s website and social media throughout the year. 


“We are thrilled to announce Todd McKinney as our next artist to participate in our Motif Seattle Visiting Artist program,” said General Manager Steve Sasso. “We are inspired by McKinney’s appreciation for art and how he brings scientific perspectives into his designs to create intricate pieces.” 


Drawing inspiration from the Motif Seattle’s four pillars, including art/design, music, culinary, and fashion, the Visiting Artist Program brings together art and the local community for guests and Seattleites alike to experience and enjoy. The upscale boutique hotel selected McKinney from dozens of Seattle-based artists for his unique design submission and inspiring story which conveyed a positive message. His submission, ‘Algorithm 102 - birth of light,’ is inspired by the city’s vibrant community, as well as the complexity of its past and present infrastructure. Todd McKinney is a California native who ventured to and ultimately settled in Seattle to pursue his art career. In his undergraduate years, he was diagnosed with a noncancerous brain tumor called Pseudotumor Cerebri, which caused his hands to tremble along with vision and memory loss, taking a toll on his artwork. Instead of giving up on his passion, he found a way to rework his technique and created his signature “drip method” of painting in 2010.  


“Gravity plays a big part in my work. To drip paint from the top of the ground/canvas and let it purposely run down which allows me to have more control. For me, the paintbrush and ground are synonymous in their aesthetics uses,” said McKinney. “Applying paint in irregular ways is also an interest of my practice, in addition to other materials, aside from paint, to create a unique texture.”  



McKinney earned a BA, Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley,  and is currently an MFA student at the University of Washington for Painting + Drawing, where he is also a graduate student instructor teaching beginner drawing. McKinney has two art studios at the University of Washington’s Painting and Drawing facility, which he treats as laboratories for creating his work. Additionally, he has recently been awarded for the 2020 Graduate Teaching Fellowship Award from the University of Washington and the 2019 Gallery at the Park MFA Scholarship from the Allied Arts Association, Richland, WA.


For more information, follow @motifseattle on Instagram and Facebook to find out when Todds work will be displayed on the website and at the hotel. To see the latest pieces from the visiting artist program, check out #motifvisitingartist on Instagram. 

Todd McKinney - Algorithm7 B Todd McKinney "Algorithm 102 - birth of light"
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Where Seattle gets social. By design.

Make your way to the fifth floor on 5th Avenue for downtown Seattle’s best rooftop happy hour hotspot, Frolik Kitchen + Cocktails — consistently voted among the best rooftop bars in America.

Come for the handcrafted cocktails, stay for Chef Adam Stevenson’s locally-inspired menu, featuring wild seafood, foraged mushrooms and the best of the Pacific Northwest.

And do come to play. Warmed by two gorgeous outdoor fireplaces and vibrant lighting in edgy urban patio style, you’ll want to start some mischief of your own with a little shuffleboard, LED ping-pong and a rotating cast of live Seattle musicians and DJs.

Open daily for breakfast, lunch, dinner — and weekends for brunch. See what’s on the menu or reserve your table below.