Proposed permanent art projection on the Chicago Riverwalk is expected to be the largest in the world
CHICAGO—(ENEWSPF)—February 26, 2018
By: Rosemary Piser
Yesterday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DECASE) and theMART to propose Art on theMart, a permanent large-scale lighting installation. The art will project across nearly three acres of the southern facing façade of theMART, the building formerly known as The Merchandise Mart.
At the announcement, Mayor Emanuel said, “Iconic art and cultural programming on the Riverwalk has always been inherent and integral in helping us embrace the river as the city’s newest recreational frontier. Art on theMart will be a visionary project that brings new energy to the Riverwalk, while strengthening Chicago’s legacy of public art.”
The project is privately funded by Vornado Realty Trust and is slated for a fall 2018 completion. The City and theMART will enter into a 30-year agreement to facilitate the project pending City Council approval.
In 2017, theMART, engaged creative studio Obscura Digital and the Chicago based architectural firm Valerio Dewalt Train, to develop a feasibility study for projecting art on the south, river-facing facade of theMART. Obscura Digital (www.obscuradigital.com) is the foremost design engineer of large projection installations with the technical and design skills capable of developing architectural images at this scale.
Myron Maurer, Chief Operating Officer of theMART said, “Vornado and theMART are very pleased to have this opportunity to collaborate with the City of Chicago. As one of Chicago’s most prominent buildings, theMART has been part of the city’s history since the 1930s. Art on theMART will further cement Chicago’s reputation as a dedicated champion for iconic public art.”
Art on theMART marks the first time a projection of its size and scope will be completely dedicated to art projection with no branding, sponsorship credits, or messaging allowed. It will be a curated, ongoing series of ever-changing installations that will begin after dusk for pedestrians and residents to enjoy. The City and theMART will be working in partnership in the management and ongoing curation of the projected art work.
“We’re eager to welcome Art on theMART into the pantheon of iconic public artworks in Chicago,” said Mark Kelly, Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events. “This installation is a result of Chicago’s first Public Art Plan and has the potential to be as impactful as Cloud Gate and the Picasso, two public art works which have transformed how we see and experience our city.”