Piece description from the artist
The Merchandise Mart | Chicago | 1930 | Graham, Anderson, Probst & White
Upon its completion in 1930 (the height of Chicago's Art Deco scene), the Merchandise Mart was the largest building in the world with over 4,000,000 square feet of usable space, over 8 miles of hallways, a train station, a dedicated post office, and its own zip code. The behemoth was the idea of James Simpson, then President of Marshall Field & Co. and Chairman of the Chicago Plan Commission to consolidate Field's wholesale businesses in to one central location, creating a haven of interior & home design open to the public and retailers alike. From 1945-1998, the building was owned by the Kennedy family and experienced modernization including updating the upper rim of the building with new plates (a downgrade from the original Indian chief sculptures) and installing the giant busts of great American merchandisers along the Chicago River's edge.
The Merch is experiencing yet another modernization with properties at Wolf Point becoming fully realized and the surrounding area becoming a hip night spot. In the fall of 2018, a new experience will arrive with the presentation of the world's largest digital projection called Art on the Mart, part of a new initiative to boost nightlife along the recently updated & renovated Chicago Riverwalk.
Ashland grew up in Southeast Virginia surrounded by lush rural landscapes, great protected swamp lands, national & state parks, the Chesapeake Bay, the Eastern Shore, the breathtaking Skyline Drive & Blue Ridge Mountains, and the inlets & oceans of Virginia & North Carolina.
It was this constant variation in natural beauty that first drew his eye to the camera; that, and the constant joy of capturing life's candid moments on film. Although no particular subject is banned from the lens of Ashland's camera, it is landscapes, cityscapes, wildlife, and nature that truly captures his heart.
"There's always more to see, more to learn, more to be wowed about-I just hope you enjoy what I see in the world."
A constant staple on the likes of Instagram, Flickr, and Facebook, Ashland currently resides in Chicago, Illinois, and looks forward to many more years of development, collaboration, creativity, world travel, and art.
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