Art on TheMART: A Unique Free Show Every Night

August 1, 2022

Summer’s not over yet.

There are still many fun and free activities in the Chicago area to enjoy, including Art on theMART. This one-of-a-kind exhibition of public art features a 25-foot-high video projection on the side of the Merchandise Mart, with shows every evening through September 7.

Since its inaugural show in 2018, tens of thousands of Chicago area residents and visitors have been drawn to the Riverwalk and Wacker Drive for the free shows.

The projected videos with audio feature work by renowned local, national and international multi-disciplinary artists.

Among the visual works is ‘Billiken,’ by documentary filmmaker, artist and scholar Wills Glasspiegel, which channels the long history of Chicago’s Bud Billiken Parade.

“Our work honors and extends the parade’s history from the south side to theMART downtown, inviting youth dancers and dance companies to shine at a scale that befits their brilliance,“ Glasspiegel wrote in a Facebook post.

Also being shown is acclaimed American artist Nick Cave’s video work, entitled Ba Boom Boom Pa Pop Pop, made specifically for Art on theMART.

Art on theMART’s array of 34 digital projectors display the programs at 9 p.m. every evening. The best spot for viewing the shows is on the Chicago Riverwalk between Wells Street and Franklin Street. Get there early to stake out the best viewing spots.

Photo Credit: Bex Walton from London, England, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons