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  1. Monday, July 6, 2020

  2. Tuesday, July 7, 2020

21c Announces Cincinnati will be Home to a Flock of Yellow Penguins

PRESS RELEASE – 21c Museum Hotel announced today that a flock of limited edition Yellow Penguin sculptures by Italian artists Cracking Art Group will make its way to Cincinnati after a brief exhibition at 21c Louisville. 21c Museum Hotels founders Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson chose the color yellow for Cincinnati as a symbol of the optimism and growth that energizes not only the art scene in Cincinnati, but the city as a whole. Yellow is also the color of gold, which references Cincinnati’s nickname The Queen City. The hotel, scheduled to open later this year, will combine a 156 room boutique hotel, a contemporary art museum and Metropole restaurant led by chef Michael Paley. In conjunction with the announcement, 21c is launching a contest on Facebook that invites fans to spot the penguin for a chance to win prizes.

“We have enjoyed getting to know the people and city of Cincinnati, and are thoroughly impressed with all of the work that the Mayor and 3CDC are doing,” said Steve Wilson, Founder and CEO. “Laura Lee and I felt that yellow was the right color to capture the vibrancy of this great city and we are looking forward to opening our doors here soon.”

The contest launches on Friday, October 26. One photo of the Yellow Penguin at a unique Cincinnati landmark will be posted each day for 30 days on 21c Museum Hotels’ Facebook page ( Fans can guess the location and submit their answers by emailing Those correctly guessing the penguin’s location will be eligible to win prizes. One fan per day will win a 21c t-shirt and everyone will be entered into the grand prize drawing to win a $500 gift certificate to 21c. (View the Official Rules)

Cracking Art Group’s Red Penguin sculptures were first exhibited at 21c Louisville in 2006. Brown and Wilson purchased the sculptures after seeing them perched around the city at the 2005 Venice Biennale as part of a public art project. The penguins were so popular with visitors to 21c that they have remained on permanent exhibition.

“The public really chose the penguins,” says Wilson. “They were part of our opening exhibition in Louisville and people couldn’t help but interact with them. They would move them around, take photos with them, take them to dinner and to their rooms. Then our team got in on the fun and now we have penguins moving around all over the property. They have really become an icon, and are emblematic of our mission to show people the interactive nature of contemporary art.”

The mission of Cracking Art Group is to raise awareness of environmental issues and the use and misuse of natural resources by creating artworks with materials derived from petroleum products. The name Cracking Art refers to the chemical reaction that occurs when converting raw crude oil into plastic, or the moment when natural becomes artificial. Founded in 1993, Cracking Art Group has created over 600 exhibitions worldwide. Each new 21c Museum Hotel will have its own flock of penguins.

About 21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati
21c Museum Hotel Cincinnati, opening in the fourth quarter of 2012, is a combination boutique hotel, contemporary art museum and restaurant modeled after the award-winning 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky. Building on its mission of engaging the public with contemporary art and supporting the revitalization of American downtowns, 21c Museum Hotels will renovate the former Metropole Hotel, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, restoring this architectural gem into a beautiful public space while following federal standards for historic rehabilitation. The 156 room property will feature 8,000 square feet of exhibition, meeting and event space and present rotating curated exhibitions, dynamic public art installations and exciting cultural programs. Exhibition space will be open to the public free of charge. The property will also feature Metropole, a restaurant and bar serving modern cuisine that celebrates the region’s sustainable producers and culinary traditions. Guests and locals alike will enjoy a rooftop bar and spa with stunning views of downtown Cincinnati and the surrounding area. The design of the hotel preserves many of the building’s original features, including a sweeping staircase leading to the second floor ballroom and the original mosaic floors.


For press information contact:
Stephanie Greene