Inspired by the hotel’s interior refresh in 2011, The James Chicago hosted a first-ever, in-residence Artist Studio @ The James designed to celebrate talent in the Midwest and give artists the chance to create a one-of-a-kind piece that was reviewed by a panel of judges and ultimately added to the hotel’s permanent collection. Artist Studio winner Kristina Estell’s Archived Overgrowth is the first piece commissioned by the hotel since opening in 2006. Estell chose plants growing outside the hotel as her medium. Archived Growth preserves a bit of found overgrowth from the city of Chicago. Underneath the paper on the surface, this plant material is archived by being pressed and sealed onto the surface of the glass with a layer of archival tape. In a way, this work is taking something common, unsightly and unwanted from the street, bringing it inside and treating it as something precious and beautiful to be preserved in time.

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