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Visual Art, Exhibition

Yellena James: Halcyon

One New York Plaza

October 25, 2022 - August 25, 2023

Halcyon detail

Curated by Common Ground Arts

Yellena James’ large-scale original mural for One New York Plaza creates a vibrant and limitless space where viewers can immerse themselves in a lush imaginary ecosystem, made up of rich colors, organic shapes, and delicate details. James’ goal has always been to bring beauty into the world with her artwork. She continuously strives to create a flourishing utopian space—equally calming and energizing—where everything exists in perfect harmony and balance.

In this mural, the artist draws inspiration from the halcyon days of Greek mythology – a brief period of calm among the seas, and a term which today is used to denote a past period of happiness or success. Similarly, the artist has designed a peaceful environment among the busy city and work environment, where one might go for peace. Pause for a moment to allow the design to wash over you or enjoy the artwork as a quick, refreshing breath of life.


Yellena James grew up and attended art school in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. She moved to the U.S. at age 18, earning her BA in painting and graphic design at University of Central Florida, Orlando. James eventually made her way to Portland, OR, where she currently resides. Working primarily in pens, inks, markers, and acrylics, James combines complex abstract forms into dazzling images, her colorful arrangements of organic shapes and tangled lines both floral and alien, organic and sci-fi. The artist’s detailed work is not planned or sketched out in advance, but drawn out intuitively, adding details and various elements over time.  

James has participated in shows nationally and internationally, including solo exhibitions at Stephanie Chefas Projects, Portland, OR; Giant Robot, San Francisco and Los Angeles, CA; Skye Gallery, Aspen, CO; Helikon Gallery, Denver, CO; Hijinks Gallery, San Francisco, CA; and more. She has done illustration work for companies such as Apple, Adobe, Relativity Media, La Mer, Anthropologie, Swatch, and Moleskine, among others.

Visit the artist’s website at yellena.com and follow her on social media at @yellenajames.

One New York Plaza icon-external-site-link

1 New York Plaza
New York, NY 10004-1901

Lower Concourse

Date & Time

October 25, 2022 - August 25, 2023