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Aspen, Colorado (December 12, 2012)
– The Little Nell recently opened the doors to its new restaurant, Element 47, where diners are treated to more than beautiful dishes featuring Colorado cuisine. They are greeted by original artwork carefully selected by Paula Crown, who owns The Little Nell with her family and is a major contributor to the art world. 

An artist herself, Crown also serves on the board of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the National Council of the Aspen Music Festival and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. She graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a master’s degree in painting and drawing earlier this year. Tangentially, all of the artists selected for Element 47 have ties to the institute. 

“There’s something incredibly special happening at the school right now, and we wanted to assemble a collaboration using these remarkable, related talents,” Crown said. “Almost all of the work was commissioned for Element 47. The size of each piece became the practical consideration, and we allowed the artists to use their problem-solving skills for the designated walls.” 

The restaurant features works by Michelle Grabner, Angel Otero, Scott Reeder, Philip Vanderhyden, Cameron Martin and José Lerma. The space also features one of Paula Crown’s own works, titled “Cockpit Side (2012).”

Crown and her team, consisting of art consultant Christopher Byrne and architecture firm Bentel & Bentel (2012 James Beard Restaurant Design award-winner), aimed to create a hotel restaurant that was a departure from the expected. 

“We knew Element 47 needed its own point of view, so in addition to changes to the menu that allow people to enjoy a lighter meal, we wanted to incorporate great art into the space,” said Little Nell Managing Director John Speers. “Now, it’s a place that heightens all of the senses with beautifully presented food, impeccable service and a visual feast.”

The hotel’s former restaurant, Montagna, was closed in September, making way for the new Element 47 which opened December 5. The name is a nod to silver on the periodic table and Aspen’s mining history. Crown and her design team orchestrated the installation of silvery fabrics and accents, as well as artwork itself that played to the concept. At times, the elements came together organically. 

“Of special note was Michelle Grabner's series of silverpoint Tondo paintings,” Crown said. “During our conversations, we discovered that the medium she used for her canvases could only be purchased from one source—a mine in Colorado. It’s interconnected and overlapping concepts like this that make Element 47 so interesting.” 

Each piece in the space is quite different visually and texturally. Philip Vanderhyden’s work uses graphite dust glazed onto burlap and linen, while José Lerma’s work is paint on carpet. Cameron Martin’s “Trees” features images of aspen trees and is acrylic on canvas. 

Other design elements include a fortified connection between the vibrant bar scene to the dining room, a glass wine wall incorporating the restaurant’s Wine Spectator Grand Award-winning cellar and lighting to provide a distinct look for each meal period. The space also includes natural elements such as stone, sumptuous wood, blackened steel and rich leather seating. 

For more details, visit: http://bit.ly/VAVy59 

The Little Nell is a year-round destination hotel at the foot of Aspen Mountain. For more information and reservations, please call 970-920-4600 or 888-843-6355. 

©2012 The Little Nell