The Annex
Hallway with abstract paintings hung on wall
White background

A Unique Blend of creativity & Comfort

The performance of visual art brightens the West Loop neighborhood—a display that transforms our boutique hotel into an immersive cultural experience, reflective of the diversity and energy of our community.

Painting of woman

In Room Murals

Introduced in spring 2018, The Annex | Murals is an ongoing bi-annual initiative designed to feature works by Chicago-based street artists in our guest rooms. To date, we've featured works by Asend, Elloo, Josh Grotto, Brandin Hurley, and JC Rivera.

Meet the Artists

Asend

"I am starting a series that focus on a classical painting approaches to portraiture, with contemporary/colorful backgrounds. The idea is to study the contrast between the smooth, subdued aesthetic of oil portraits, versus and the vibrant/loose feel of street art mediums like cans and sprays. The result is an intersection of classical painting with an urban vibe."

Frank Quintero

For The Annex project, Frank wanted the mural to celebrate the city’s architecture by immersing his character Pancho in iconic urban features unique to Chicago. The fun and illustrative mural is meant to inspire guests to explore the city and remind them how cool it is.

Big Art Collective

For The Annex, the three Chicagoans want to immerse the hotel’s guests into their sketchbook, quite literally. Every inch of wall space is covered with drawings inspired by their love for the city while also bringing their vast array of characters and imagery interacting with the space. Most of the mural was improvised on the spot, fully utilizing the concept of a doodle to let their imaginations run wild. Viewers will see something neweverytimetheylookatthismural. Luis,Tom,andTristanhopeguestswillgetlostinallthestories depicted in this room.

John Sandford

“My work is an ongoing search for truth and enlightenment.”

The Native Fauna Taste of Chicago:
DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS. In the City of Chicago, this is clearly understood: there’s a fine for up to $500 for feeding pigeons. However, humans cannot be held responsible for the food that the animals of Chicago procure through foraging, thievery, or ordering from carryout. The next time you walk through a city park, observe closely: the warm ashes? Chinese takeout boxes? Styrofoam cups of giardinaria? Yes, that’s Chicago’s resident animals on pique-nique. John Sandford’s mural depicts a few of these animals, and a few of the foods of our city.

Barak

“For this work, I wanted to portray the youthful exuberance of children at play to evoke feelings of joy for Hotel Chicago visitors. My design captures Chicago’s diversity - as a child growing up here I was fortunate to have friends from every corner of the world. This diversity is depicted
in the design by the subjects themselves as well as my abstract use of color.”

Mosher

“Obsessed with cartoons and comic books, I began making art at a very young age and have continued drawing heavily from these early influences. My intention is to create visually impactful murals that are colorful and dynamic. My pieces tend to revolve heavily around character work. Curious landscapes populated by a cast of playfully absurd figures.”

Tom Perkowitz

"The mural created for The Annex is titled “The Spirit of Chicago” and is meant to evoke feelings of the city’s rich history and progress. Inspired by early 20th century lithography, especially the works of Czech poster maker Alphonse Mucha, this art nouveau piece is meant to be a contrast of old and new. The style and main iconography could have been created a hundred years ago, but incorporating the modern Chicago skyline along with the colors and stars of the Chicago flag give a not so subtle nod to the changes over the last century."

Feral Grin

“The Annex Mural is a cluster of Chicago enjoyment. From the Art institute to the Chicago Hot Dog there’s a lot of culture in Chicago and I wanted to pay homage to a little bit of all of it. There are at least 7 different Chicago staples located in the Mural. Can you find them all?”

Josh Grotto

"I took particular attachment to this line: “And Chicago divided your heart. Leaving you loving the joint for keeps. Yet knowing it never can love you.” I used two photographs taken of Algren by Art Shay as sources for the train silhouette and his portrait in the window. Shay was a writer and photographer for Life, Time, and other national publications."

Elloo

"I wanted to create a sweet dreams love-lets fly away feeling. My characters are all an extension of me, my monster children. I love painting magic on walls."

Brandin Hurley

"I have always been fascinated by the blurred line between waking life and dreams, reality and perception. Children often see the world as large and foreboding, miraculous and awe-inspiring, overwhelming and magical. Their imagination enhances shadows, deepens darkness, draws to prominence the smallest drop of dew or shimmering particles of dust. Their perceptions become interwoven with reality, projecting their own awe and wonder upon everyday life. As an artist, I try to live in this space and make it visible to others."

JC Rivera

"I first started drawing The Bear Champ in 2010, I wanted to create a character that was not human, and not too specific in terms of race, so it’s more symbolic. He used to smoke, he was beat up, he had a little chip on his shoulder. I’ve been through a lot as an artist. I’ve been taken advantage of without getting recognition. I feel like I’m finally at an age when something is working for me, so that’s when I started making the bear a little more positive. [and] gave him the crown—cause now he’s a champion. It took him a while to get where he is, but now, he’s more successful, more iconic, more positive, like me."

Painting of dinosaur bones Painting of dinosaur bones Painting of dinosaur bones Painting of dinosaur bones Painting of dinosaur bones

Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

“Art is to console those who are broken by life.”
-Vincent Van Gogh

Our collaboration with the AbilityLab focuses on healing through art. An exhibition spanning the entire third-floor is being organized with the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and will feature art therapy works by patients with disabilities.

Permanent Collection

First floor

The journey into Horn’s work begins on the first floor, where visitors experience his now extinct Cibachrome process in selections from his Polaroid Impressionism collection. By manipulating images before the emulsion dried, Horn was able to achieve an idyllic yet imperfect effect.

Second floor

The second-floor features works Horn collected from around the world and has pieces ranging from portraits to landscapes and still-lifes. The aesthetic is elegant and moody, seductive yet gritty.

man in coral suit talking to another man in brown leather coat

Fourth floor

Horn’s experimental works continue on the fourth floor with his Beauty and Heart series. Exposing 35mm film to sunlight, Horn was able to achieve deep blues that contrast with the rich reds he developed by exposing the same film to incandescent light.