Chicago has emerged from the winter months to a plethora of spring activities. Tulips, cherry blossoms, and all those signs of spring blooming now that we’ve officially entered the season of rebirth and resurrection.
Another thing to come back to life are Chicago’s cherished Art on TheMART projections that light up the 2.5-acre river façade of the Merchandise Mart.
Chicago went several months without the stunning art spectacles but now after some spellbinding displays last year, Art on TheMART has returned with its first projections of 2023.
On April 14 Art on TheMART fired up all 34 digital projectors for its Spring 2023 Program and once again brought the 25-story-tall face of the Merchandise Mart to life for a special celebration in honor of its 5th Anniversary.
The new program features a new commission by internationally renowned artist Derrick Adams named Funtime Unicorn: Ruby Rides Through Four Seasons which will “celebrate Black joy, love and play.”
“The animation–realized in collaboration with The Channel–unfolds across the four seasons and begins with Ruby in a playground before she embarks on adventures through joyful dreamscapes” reads the Art on TheMART website.
“Viewers will be transported through Ruby’s journey by the narration of a young girl, with background vocals by Cleo Reed, set to an original jazz-trumpet soundscape by Dave Guy from the Roots.”
Organizers also announced the return of the popular projection of new work by local Chicago Public Schools (CPS) seniors as well as work from revered Korean artist Dr. Yiyun Kang, whose projection will premiere as a part of the fall 2023 lineup.
Dr. Yiyun Kang, who is described as “a veteran in the field of projection mapping and immersive art” has hosted exhibitions at numerous art institutions around the world creating mesmerizing kinetic environments for audiences to explore.
Additional plans for 2023 include the launch of a guest curator initiative: a platform that will allow digital curators to commission artists and bring new voices to contribute to Art on TheMART for a 15-month period. The Art on TheMART curatorial advisory board will select candidates who will work on assembling programs for 2024.
The 30-minute spring shows run twice nightly at 8:30 pm from April 14 to July 5. The best places to view the projections are from the jetty section of the Chicago Riverwalk between Wells and Franklin Streets.
More information can be found at artonthemart.com.
[Featured image from Art on TheMart]