An installation of repurposed record birds in the Hotel Van Zandt lobby was created by artist Paul Villinski. A pilot of paragliders and single-engine airplanes, Villinski often uses metaphors of flight in his work, including this installation in Austin’s Hotel Van Zandt, which is arguably the Lone Star State’s coolest hotel. It offers 12,000 square feet of posh meeting space across 11 dedicated meeting rooms, as well as 319 rooms and suites in chic palettes of blue. And there’s plenty of family history thrown in, too, including an artistic tribute to Texas diplomat Isaac Van Zandt and his greatgrandson Townes Van Zandt, a singersongwriter who rose to popularity in the 1970s. In fact, the first vinyl bird rising from the phonograph is crafted from a TVZ record.
For more than 300 years, ranching has been a way of life—and business—in Texas. The uniquely Texan ranch experience has captured the imagination of the world, and ranches have served as uncredited “stars” for some of Hollywood’s most iconic productions: from Reata, the fictitious ranch depicted in the classic movie “Giant,” to the glamorous Southfork Ranch, home of the primetime soap opera “Dallas.” Longhorns, horses, cowboys, rodeos, 10-gallon hats and cowboy boots: There is an alluring mystique surrounding Texas ranches.