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Advice to novice art investors has always been “Buy what you like. Find pieces that evoke emotion.” And even with its subjective nature, a thoughtfully chosen art piece undoubtedly brings value to a space by how it makes people feel.  

Such is the case with the installation in the lobby of 71 South Wacker Drive – “Suspended Light Veils” by acclaimed visual designer James Carpenter; a pair of illuminated hanging veils that mimic the magic light and constant motion of the sky.

“These exquisite installations bring light into the public realm, reframing the timelessness of Pei Cobb Freed’s architecture and awakening us to the beauty of light during our day to day lives,” said Doug Holte, president of office properties for Irvine Company, which owns the building. “While these installations represent a small component of our reinvestment in the building, they are a significant extension of our efforts to elevate the modern workplace, marrying art and architecture to create one of the most compelling office experiences in America.”

At 29 feet high, the diaphanous veils hang 13 feet above the three-story lobby floor and float harmoniously with atmospheric movement. The sculpture transforms itself minute-by-minute, adjusting itself to exterior light and time of day. In essence, it is never the same sculpture twice and depending on when it is seen, the engagement for visitors and employees of the tower is different every time.

The veils will also live and work symbiotically with the Digital Art Wall, which is installed near the entrance the second floor mezzanine of the tower. Nine screens illuminate rotating images of some of Chicago’s most iconic and mesmerizing sights and landscapes. This modern use of technology serves as a nod to the rich history of commerce in Chicago and what customers at 71 South Wacker will contribute to it.

With the installation of Carpenter’s “Suspended Light Veils,” Irvine Company has, quite literally, elevated the modern workspace – all one needs to do is look skyward to be awed.  Investing in significant pieces from prominent artists and including other modern technology in an environment can transform a building into a go-to and give a renewed a sense of investment to employers, employees and future candidates who seek to be inspired.

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