For 8th Year Royal Sonesta Partners With Local Artist To Benefit Children's Hospital

NEW ORLEANS – For the eighth consecutive year, Royal Sonesta New Orleans has partnered with a local artist for an annual holiday initiative that benefits Children's Hospital.

         The landmark French Quarter hotel has commissioned artist Walker Babington to create a commemorative holiday keepsake perfect for gifting and for adorning your tree. Utilizing his strength as a metal artist, Babington has created a copper plate inspired by the signature Royal Teddy Bear artwork. The copper is treated to achieve the richness of an aged blue-green copper patina then the piece is affixed to a stained wood surface and sealed with a glossy protective finish. The result is a unique highly collectible piece of art.

         Each purchase of the limited-edition signed and numbered keepsake brings the added value of knowing that 100% of the net proceeds generated from sales go directly to Children's Hospital New Orleans.

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         Walker Babington, who is represented by Hyph3n-Art Gallery in New Orleans, describes his artistic journey as seeded in his childhood. "Before I could even speak, there was a space in the garage for my 'collection' of old rusty things,” he said. “Discarded materials or junk that I would find on the ground, stuff into my pockets and carry home. By the time I was in elementary school, I began assembling the odd metal items to form robots, people and animals. By high school, my work had evolved to sculpture and functional art pieces. In a way, this project for Children's Hospital takes me back to my childhood. Knowing that each piece I create helps to brighten the life of a sick child really touches me in a special way. I'm grateful that Royal Sonesta New Orleans selected me as this year's teddy bear artist."

         Hotel execs say The Royal Teddy Bear project is another example of Royal Sonesta New Orleans' Culture of Caring and the hotel's ongoing commitment to the local community. The multi-layered initiative has been recognized by the City Council of New Orleans for its philanthropic contributions. "This is a very special project that showcases the creativity and talents of a New Orleans-based artist while supporting the vital services that Children's Hospital provides to our region,” explains Royal Sonesta's general manager Alfred L. Groos. “Each year we are humbled and inspired by the courage of the children who receive such loving care from this outstanding institution.”

         The official 2015 Royal Teddy Bear ornament may be purchased at Royal Sonesta New Orleans located in the French Quarter at 300 Bourbon St. The pieces may also be purchased at three additional sites that include Hyph3n-Art Gallery located at 1901 Royal St., Children's Hospital's gift shop located at 200 Henry Clay Ave. and The Magic Box toy store located at 5508 Magazine St. Each commemorative keepsake costs $25.

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