Watch art come to life this weekend at Time Out Market Chicago

Tablescapes in Motion will bring together 10 Chicago-based artists for a live painting event.

Isaiah Reynolds
Written by
Isaiah Reynolds
Assistant Editor
Shawnimals in front of Loop Mural
Photograph: Ryan BarayugaShawn Smith in front of one of his murals in the Loop.

Filling the walls of Time Out Market Chicago are the colorful works of local artists and muralists who call the city home. Starting this weekend, the art will expand and decorate the tables used by guests every day.

At Tablescapes in Motion, 10 local artists will take over Tony’s Rooftop and bring their drawings to life by painting the Market's tables under the theme of Chicago. The tables will remain on display after the event. Tickets, priced at $10, are available via Eventbrite for spectators to witness the four-hour, live art session starting at 2pm this Saturday, June 15.

Among the group of talented artists is Shawn Smith (aka Shawnimals), a Logan Square resident since 2003. An avid muralist, Smith creates vibrant animations of expressive shapes (think: smiling circles, dubious rhombuses, apathetic pyramids, etc.) that can be seen on strolls through Gage Park, Uptown and the Loop.

“Although I have a lot of different kinds of characters that I typically paint and draw, I've been focused primarily on these kinds of shaped characters that are grouped together in what I call ‘friendship piles,’” Smith says. “For me, it's an analogue of community, embracing our differences and our diversity.”

Smith leans on his skills as an experienced sketch artist to paint sprawling murals on the walls of Chicago’s pathways and non-traditional canvases. You may have seen his work on CTA trains and buses as part of the Illinois Cares for Kids’ “I Got Love” campaign back in May. 

As a gallery of local art, Time Out Market Chicago currently houses a selection of rotating and permanent pieces.

Self-taught graffiti and tablescape artist Sunnie Skiez is bringing his spray-painted visuals to the event as well. 

Sunnie Skiez, whose alias represents a commitment to daily optimism, noted the change in public perception toward graffiti art in recent years. Not only have galleries recognized graffiti as a form of art, but audiences are interacting with street murals, according to the artist.

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A post shared by SUNNIE (@sunnieskiez)

“Graffiti is what brought me into art,” Sunnie Skiez says. “People walk past graffiti art, engage with it by taking a picture and post it on social media and people have noticed the impact it has on community.”

Sunnie Skiez utilizes graffiti’s meticulous techniques in his mural work—drip strokes, relayered sections, Chicago architecture and recognizable iconography all come together in his original pieces.

In addition to art, Tablescapes in Motion will also feature a live DJ, specialty cocktails and beer samplings.

Here's the full lineup of artists you can expect to see Saturday:

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