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What Does It Take To Be An Artist-in-Residence At the James Chicago?

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  Site Where: 55 East Ontario [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60610
December 5, 2011 at 9:00 AM | by | ()

A little over a year ago, we brought your attention to the James Chicago's "Room 28" art exhibit featuring a mismatched stack of old suitcases.

This month, the hotel made five artists compete for the chance to have their work permanently displayed somewhere inside the building—and then filmed a mini reality show to document the whole process! The end results: a mummified shrub, an abstract map of Chicago's grid system, and a Rio de Janeiro-inspired painting. To find out which one actually made the cut, see below!

An all-star lineup of judges included artist Demarcus Purham, who created the "brick wall" featured in the hotel's ballroom, as well as Art Slant Chicago editor Abraham Ritchie and Whitney Tassie, director of the Monique Meloche Gallery.

Apparently, the artist who made the biggest impression on them was Kristina Estell, from Duluth, MN, who chose as her medium some shrubs she found growing outside the hotel, sealing each leaf with water-based tape, and enclosing the whole thing between two panes of glass.

"Archived Overgrowth," (above) as the piece is entitled, is now on view as part of the hotel's permanent collection. "The idea was to bring something of the outside environment into the James," Estell explained. "This is the first project I've done with this specific material. Once they're sealed under this tape—it's a water-based tape—it actually preserves them pretty well."

Watch videos of the entire process here.

[Photo: Huffington Post]

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