brandin annex mural
asend annex mural
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Welcome to The Annex: An Immersive Art Experience

The Annex is a cultural initiative at Hotel Chicago West Loop that seeks to reflect the richness of our immediate community through visual art. Anchored between the West Loop gallery district and the Illinois Medical District, The Annex has shaped its visual arts program to represent the diversity and energy of the neighborhood. With both permanent and rotating collections featuring over 100 pieces of 2-D media, The Annex transforms our boutique hotel into a unique, immersive cultural experience.

Whether you're staying at the hotel or simply exploring the neighborhood, stop by to experience the unparalleled artistic endeavor that is The Annex!

The Annex | Permanent Collection

permanent collection at the annex

The Annex's permanent collection lines the walls of the hotel's lobby as well as the corridors of the second and third floors. The Annex | Permanent Collection features multi-media works created and collected by the prolific and adventurous Helmut Horn.

First Floor Collection

The journey into Horn’s work begins on the first floor, where visitors experience Horn’s 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 Collection

Selections from The Annex | Permanent Collection can also be found on the second floor. Horn collected these works from around the world and has works ranging from portraits to landscapes to still-lifes. The aesthetic is elegant and moody, seductive yet gritty.

Third Floor Collection

Horn’s experimental works continue on the third floor with his Beauty and the 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.

Rotating Collections

Annex | Murals

murals collection at hotel chicago west loop annex

Introduced in spring 2018, The Annex | Murals is an ongoing bi-annual initiative designed to feature works by Chicago-based street artists in guest rooms. Works by well-known and emerging artists have been executed in six of our guest rooms, and we plan to commission more in-room murals throughout the year. To date, works have been made by Asend, Elloo, Josh Grotto, Brandin Hurley, and JC Rivera.

Coming Soon: AbilityLab Showcase

art from abilitylab at hotel chicago

Hotel Chicago West Loop is currently working to debut another aspect of the Annex: AbilityLab Showcase. This fourth floor exhibition will feature art therapy works by patients with disabilities and is being organized in affiliation with Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.

Check back soon for more information about this exciting, new installment at The Annex!

A Quick History of The Annex

annex artwork at west loop hotel

Since its launch in the fall of 2017, the project has evolved significantly. At its outset, The Annex encompassed the lobby and guest halls and featured photography collected or made by local patron and artist Helmut Horn. These works remain on view at The Annex | Permanent Collection.

In early 2018, we expanded our commitment to The Annex art program by commissioning renown urban artists to create unique street murals in select guest rooms. The Annex | Murals program adds another element to the hotel/gallery concept by pulling visitors beyond the public space and into the guest rooms for viewing. The contributing street artists have created floor-to-ceiling wall murals inside guest rooms with themes that incorporate Chicago.

Experience A Unique Blend of Creativity and Comfort

hotel chicago guest room with mural

The Annex Rate

Rates Starting at $90.00
To further support the local arts community, Hotel Chicago West Loop is dedicated to art appreciation as a charitable endeavor. When you book a regular room using the special code 'ANNEX", 10% of your regular room rate gets donated to a designated non-profit that promotes the arts in the local community.

The hotel worked with the Art Alliance Illinois in 2017 and is working with Shirley Ryan AbilityLab’s Art Therapy programs in 2018 and 2019.

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Meet the Artists

Meet The Annex's contributing artists for a deeper understanding of the project's vision, execution, and themes. Through their stories, works, and creativity, Hotel Chicago West Loop has become a unique, dual-purpose hotel/gallery concept unlike anywhere else in the city.


asend art at hotel chicago west loop annex

"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." | Instagram @asend_one

JC Rivera

jc rivera art at hotel chicago west loop annex

"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." | Instagram @jcrivera

Brandin Hurley

brandin hurley art at hotel chicago west loop annex

"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." | Instagram @brandin.hurley


elloo art at hotel chicago west loop annex

"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."

Instagram @ellooelloo

Josh Grotto

josh grotto art at hotel chicago west loop annex

"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." | Instagram @jashua77

Explore the Annex

View the embedded image gallery online at:

Contact and Press

Want to cover The Annex in your news story, blog post, or article? Need to know more about this unique concept? We'd love to talk!

Media Contact
Jody Grimaldi, Grimaldi Public Relations
(630) 470-0044
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Hotel Reservations
Hotel Chicago West Loop
(312) 243-2900
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