Local artists to use Merchandise Mart’s facade as giant canvas


Dubbed “Art on theMART” – the Merchandise Mart’s 2.6-acre facade will turn into the world’s largest permanent projection canvas.

“This new installation will be a game changer,” said Mark Kelly, DCASE.

According to a WGN report, Rahm declared 2017 to be the “Year of Public Art.”

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As a part of City Hall’s idea, Art on the MART is slated to attract 55 million tourists annually and turn the riverfront into attraction to match the Lake Michigan shoreline.

“The idea was to take what we were doing on the Riverwalk south bank and make the north bank come alive and make it one vision of the city,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said.

The owners of the four million square front Art Deco building selected two design firms for the privately funded installation. One has made similar displays at both the Sydney Opera House as well as at St. Peter’s Basilica.

“Large, temporary projections have been done around the world, but the permanency and size of Art on theMART will provide a canvas for art to evolve and thrive,” said Chief Operating Officer of theMART, Myron Maurer.

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The wall be completely devoted to art with no branding, no sponsorships or messaging allowed. For artist submissions, a digital platform will be available.

Artist Tyrue Jones is among the first to be featured.

“I’m from Chicago. I love Chicago. I’ve always loved Chicago. Chicago is my heart, the neighborhoods, the people. Everything is connected,” Jones said.

To learn more about Merchandise Mart’s history, scroll onto the video below – courtesy of April Uhlir Design.

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