The JW Marriott, Anaheim Resort is just a stone’s throw away from Disneyland, but you don’t even have to leave the hotel for a one-of-a-kind immersive experience—and this one’s free! Visitors can experience the new Secret Butterfly Garden and digital forest through their smart phone device, which allows them to interact with the garden’s features, for a unique augmented reality experience.
The installation, which received Anaheim Beautiful’s 2020 Art in Public Places highest honor, the Julie Mayer Award, is an extension of the resort’s overall agricultural theme. JW Marriott, Anaheim Resort was designed with Orange County’s diverse agricultural history in mind. The hotel’s entrance features a thin steel sculpture in the form of a harvester planting a seed, which disappears depending on the angle of the viewer. Outside the lobby, a succulent, floral and vegetation garden’s harvest is incorporated into the property’s food and beverage programs. The virtual garden experience reinforces this theme by allowing guests to nurture their own digital trees.
Guests download the Shimé app and venture to the second story rooftop in the JW Garden where three sculptured art installations come to life. A beautifully crafted 70-foot wall is covered in over 600 handmade blue and green titanium butterflies, which change color as the lights change throughout the day.
Shimé app and the virtual installation was designed by L.A. based studio HEAVY as “a mindful interactive art journey that unlocks the artist within for all guests,” explains Chris Nunes, Head of Studio. The app guides guests through the three-piece narrative using the camera on their device to interact with the sculptures. Next, guests are guided through a performative meditation to plant a fantastical tree that takes its color and shape from decisions made during the experience. Once the tree is planted, it recedes into the digital forest where it lives at the hotel forever.
Guests can visit the Secret Butterfly Garden for free. The JW Marriott, Anaheim Resort is located at 1775 S. Clementine St., Anaheim.