Another sign of spring? The return of Art on TheMART, the massive, vivid rotating art projection exhibition on the side of the iconic Merchandise Mart building overlooking the Riverwalk in the Loop. Following its launch in 2018, Art on TheMART has become the largest permanent digital art projection in the world, and a favorite of tourists and locals seeking something fun and free to do downtown.
The 2022 Art on TheMART program kicks off on Saturday, April 9 with a pair of art projections centered around climate change, completed in partnership with the Shedd Aquarium. The first, Floe, is a fluid, movement-centric work created by Chicago native and choreographer Carrie Hanson and her dance company, The Seldoms, and is Art on TheMART's first projection in a series supporting the Year of Chicago Dance.
Originally conceived as a dance theatre work, Floe uses movement to spotlight different elements of the climate emergency, including melting polar ice, extreme weather and forced migration. The team, including dancers Dee Alaba, Sarah Gonsiorowski, Damon Green and Maggie Vannucci and visual artists Bob Faust, Liviu Pasare and Andrew Glatt have created a projection that incorporates dance, words and imagery complemented by a soundscape from Mikhail Fiksel that includes field recordings of icebergs, water and rain.
The second projection, Choral, is the work of localStyle, an Amsterdam-based artist collaborative founded by artist Marlena Novak and composer Jay Alan Yim. This colorful audiovisual project juxtaposes images of a diverse variety of coral species with the sounds of a droning electronic choir, encouraging audiences to appreciate the beauty of these natural ecosystems—and examine the threat they face through warming oceans and other climate concerns.
Ready to view some thoughtful commentary on climate change? The 2022 Art on TheMART spring program will run nightly on the side of the Merchandise Mart building at 8:30pm and 9pm from April 9–June 29. You can also watch the inaugural program virtually from home.