Art on theMART

In partnership with Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Art on theMART will resume projections on Thursday, November 12 with an all new program.

Just in time to celebrate the holidays, The Joffrey Ballet will debut a moving-image work of art featuring production images from its acclaimed production of the Christmas classic The Nutcracker set to music from Tchaikovsky’s beloved score; the Art Institute of Chicago will present images from two of its current exhibitions,Monet and Chicago, and Bisa Butler: Portraits; and Arts of Life, a nonprofit working with individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities, will show a compilation of the artists’ bold images, animated together as a video projection.


The 30-minute program of projections will be shown nightly at 7:00 and 7:30 p.m. through December 30, and can be viewed for free from the jetty section of the Chicago Riverwalk on Wacker Drive between Wells Street and Franklin Street. In accordance with Chicago’s Phase Four pandemic guidelines, no more than 100 people can be on the Riverwalk jetty and all must comply with social distancing regulations.  All spectators must wear masks. The November 12 projections will also be livestreamed on Facebook.


The Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker

This projection inspired by Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker allows visitors to experience scenes from the holiday classic as they listen to Tchaikovsky’s famous score. The Joffrey's rendition is set during the 1893 World’s Fair and follows Marie, a young girl who receives a magical nutcracker for Christmas and is transported to a magnificent world beyond her wildest dreams. Representing the innovation, ingenuity and hope of Chicago, the production features the work of Tony Award®-winning choreographer Christopher Wheeldon.


"We must remember that now, more than ever, the world needs hope, optimism, and joy," said Greg Cameron, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Though the holiday season will look a lot different this year, we must celebrate the galvanizing moments when we can. To share the story of the Joffrey’s Nutcracker on one of the largest public canvases in the world will be a visible and vivid reminder to all that love has the power to unite.”

Art Institute of Chicago: Monet and Chicago and Bisa Butler: Portraits


In conjunction with the Art Institute of Chicago exhibition Monet and Chicago, Art on theMART illuminates the city’s historic riverfront building with projections of six iconic paintings by famed Impressionist Claude Monet, including Monet’s Water Lilies and Stacks of Wheat, accompanied by the classical music composition “Clair de Lune” by Claude Debussy. Art on theMART’s Monet projection offers a new multisensory experience of the beloved works. Monet and Chicago is on display at the Art Institute through January 18, 2021.

Art on theMART will also project captivating portraits by contemporary American artist Bisa Butler in alignment with the Art Institute of Chicago’s exhibition Bisa Butler: Portraits. Butler's portrait quilts present an expansive view of history and engage with themes such as family, community, migration, the promise of youth, and artistic legacies. A selection of Butler’s artworks accompanied by custom sound provided by the artist, will extend her vision into Chicago’s architectural landscape. Bisa Butler: Portraits is on display at the Art Institute through April 19, 2021.

“The Art Institute is delighted to celebrate these two distinct narratives that both resonate—in very different ways—with the city’s history and its evolving present,” said Nora Gainer, Director of Civic Relations and Partnerships, Art Institute of Chicago. “We are grateful for the innovation of Art on theMART for helping us share these stories on their very public stage.”


Arts of Life: City Circle Heart


City Circle Heart features the work of five studio artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The projection is a compilation of colorful, abstract images that are knitted together in a dynamic moving image display that will attract people of all abilities to appreciate the movement, colors and unique soundscape. Participating artists are Marcelo Añón, Veronica Cuculich, Stefan Harhaj, Hector Jones and Maria Vanik with motion graphics by Lisa Armstrong and sound design by Chris Kalis.


“Art on theMART provides an ideal opportunity to highlight our commitment to supporting artistic expression, to providing professional development opportunities for artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities and to introducing our artists’ work to new audiences,” said Denise Fisher, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Arts of Life. “This featured presentation is a perfect culminating project for our 20th Anniversary.”


About Art on theMART

Art on theMART is the largest permanent digital art projection in the world, projecting contemporary artwork across the 2.5-acre river-façade of theMART. This expansive permanent piece of public art continues Chicago’s legacy of providing both residents and visitors with exceptional art that is both free and accessible to all. Projections are visible to the public from Wacker Drive and along the Chicago Riverwalk.


The program content rotates every season and is selected with the assistance and expertise of the Curatorial Advisory Board. The City of Chicago and theMART work in partnership to manage and curate the projected artwork over the course of a 30-year agreement. Privately funded by Vornado Realty Trust, owner of theMART, Art on theMART marks the first time a projection of its size and scope is completely dedicated to digital art with no branding, sponsorship credits or messaging. The permanent projection system illuminates theMART with 34 state-of-the-art projectors totaling almost one million lumens. For more information, visit www.artonthemart.com.


Art on theMART

  • Mon-Fri Closed
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed

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