A giant mosaic depicting Cayman’s emblematic stingrays has been stopping guests in their tracks as they arrive at a hotel on Seven Mile Beach.
The 20-foot high, 20-foot wide art piece is located on the entrance wall in the foyer of the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, which was recently remodeled in the style of beach-house chic.
“The concept behind the mosaic was to showcase one of Cayman’s most popular icons – the stingray,” explains Laura Skec of the Marriott.
“One of the island’s biggest and most-accessible attractions is Stingray City, where dozens of timid stingrays of all sizes gather around the shallow Sandbar and interact with humans. It is an experience not to be missed.”
With seven stingrays incorporated into the mosaic, that particular number of fish is also significant.
“Seven is considered a lucky number all around the world,” says Laura. “There are seven days in the week, seven colors of the rainbow, seven notes on the musical scale – the list goes on and on.
“As our resort is located on Seven Mile Beach, and kissing a stingray brings the person seven years of good luck (according to a local legend,) we also wanted to celebrate the lucky number seven with this beautiful piece of art.”
The overall design of the piece was undertaken by United States-based company EDG Interior Architecture and Design, which was also responsible for the interior design in the Marriott’s lobby and Anchor & Den restaurant.
EDG then reached out to a mosaic tile company and a metal artist to implement the design.
The metal artist who fashioned the stingrays – made from aluminum with a bronze painted finish – was from Art’s Work Unlimited, Inc. in Miami, and the mosaic tile wall was created by Artaic, an innovative mosaic tile firm which works around the globe.
The stingray sculptures were created in Miami and shipped to Grand Cayman, while the mosaic tile was shipped in segments and pieced together onsite by the general contractor.
“Seeing that stingrays are an iconic part of the Cayman Islands and key to the guests’ experience, EDG wanted to relay that feeling as you enter the hotel, emphasizing the sensation of swimming with the stingrays,” says Jackson Butler of EDG. “The mosaic tile wall is emblematic of the ocean floor as the stingrays swim across it.”
The mosaic also complements the seaside décor at the resort, with the stingrays giving it an exclusively Cayman touch.
“The inspiration for our new design embraces a ship-to-shore concept that embodies the themes of the spirit of openness, sense of adventure, craftsmanship and love of the islands,” says Laura. “Our aim was to create the relaxing and casual seaside ambience of island living by using neutral textures and nautical elements. The stingray wall is perfectly aligned with this intention.”
As guests enter the Marriott, the mosaic is the first thing they see, with many stopping to admire the stunning artwork.
“We have received a lot of positive feedback from our guests about the stingray wall,” says Laura. “It really gives off the ‘wow’ factor when you come into the hotel.
“Many of our employees get comments about how impressive and beautiful it is. People also like posting pictures of the mosaic on Facebook and TripAdvisor.”
EDG has received similar praise for the piece, with many compliments on the unique artwork.
“Reviews have been overwhelmingly enthusiastic and positive,” says Jackson. “Everyone takes their photo in front of it. It’s truly a Kodak moment.”