Touted as the world’s largest and longest-running digital projection system, “Art on theMART” invites Chicagoans and visitors alike to witness the city’s famous Merchandise Mart building (also known as “theMART”) turning into a 2.5-acre public art canvas. This first-of-its-kind art installation is set to run for the next 30 years, two hours a night, five days a week, March through December.
“Art on theMART” show launched its inaugural program on September 29, 2018, featuring a curated digital artwork series by four renowned contemporary artists – Diana Thater, Zheng Chongbin, Jason Salavon, and Jan Tichy.
For the installation’s opening program, Diana Thater created a short film of wild animals living in the Chyulu hills near Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya. Zheng Chongbin insisted in his artistic practice around the pre-modern Daoist concept that the natural, inorganic world of matter and energy is living and ever-changing. Jason Salavon created poetic complexes of flowing visual history, and Jan Tichy highlighted the natural elements in the works of seven local artists.
In this $8-million project, theMART and the City of Chicago have closely collaborated to transform Chicago’s Riverwalk: “Both the Chicago Riverwalk and theMART are Chicago institutions, so it is fitting that the two will come together to strengthen the city’s legacy of public art,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This visionary project, led by Vornado and theMART, will quickly become a Chicago staple that helps to reshape the way people interact with the Chicago River.”
“If you consider what happened mid-century with the Picasso on Daley Plaza, the Flamingo [in front of the Kluczynski Federal Building], Millennium Park with the Cloud Gate, known as the Bean, this is the next moment of iconic public art as a gift to the city,” Cynthia Noble, Executive Director of “Art on theMART,” told Chicago’s WLS-TV.
ART ON theMART
222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, Chicago, Illinois 60654
Saturdays and Sundays | 5-7 p.m.
Wednesdays – Fridays | 7-9 p.m.
Event Cost: Free