Artist Qualification Submissions

Request for Proposals: ART on THE MART Guest Curator Program

DEADLINE: 9:00am CT on Monday, March 6, 2023

ART on THE MART seeks to appoint a guest curator specializing in time-based media art to a temporary, 18-month position. The selected curator would be appointed with a view to both contribute to both ART on THE MART’s long-term curatorial strategy and ART on THE MART’s programming through a commission of new work by an artist or artists working in the field of digital video and/or video mapping. The commissioned work will be exhibited on the ART on THE MART platform in the context of its nightly public art program. The guest curator will collaborate closely with the Executive Director (ED) of ART on THE MART and its curatorial advisory board on both objectives. This is the first iteration of a recurring opportunity.

ART on THE MART invites applicants for the 2023-24 guest curator cycle, especially curators experienced with time-based media and artists with a related robust curatorial practice. Candidates based in Chicago and in remote locations are all welcome to apply. There is no preference based on location.

The guest curator will receive an award of $40,000 USD. In addition, ART on THE MART will provide a separate commissioning fee for artwork recommended by the guest curator and confirmed by ART on THE MART. Through the creation of this curatorial prize and the related investment in artists, ART on THE MART intends to actively contribute to cultural diversity through access to opportunities and by bringing new global perspectives to the platform.

ART on THE MART is the largest permanent time-based media art projection system in the world and an innovative platform for public art that covers nearly three acres of the river façade of the iconic MART in downtown Chicago. Its mission is to provide free, public access to site-specific, relevant, non-commercial digital artworks exhibited on THE MART. ART on THE MART amplifies the expressions of the broadest range of artists and partners to realize the power of public art to inspire positive community engagement along the Chicago Riverwalk, throughout Chicago and beyond.

The transformative project, privately funded by Vornado Realty Trust and through the ART on THE MART Foundation (501c3), launched with an inaugural set of projections on September 29, 2018, attracting more than 32,000 people. It has quickly emerged as a major international cultural destination. Artists such as Nick Cave, Barbara Kruger, Charles Atlas, Diana Thater, Petra Cortright and others have exhibited new and site-specific works on the platform. ART on THE MART is active one hour each night, 9 months a year, based on a 30-year agreement with the City of Chicago.

Duties of Guest Curator


The ideal candidate is an experienced visual art/time-based media curator or artist with a robust curatorial practice and a global perspective and has:

Notes on Artist / Artwork Commissions

The selected guest curator should advance artists who bring video-mapping skills and/or a technical team to the commission.

Through a third-party vendor, ART on THE MART will provide minimal technical consulting around video mapping capabilities, in addition to the 2D and 3D models and templates that are provided below.

Audio files provided by the selected artist(s) to accompany the video files will be played through permanent audio speakers located on the Riverwalk Jetty. Accompanying audio is required and artists are responsible for securing any required permissions to rights for any images and sound.

The building features LED lights at the crown that will be coordinated with commission.

The system does not currently support live data feed, but THE MART is open to discussing projects that include interactive elements that would maintain the integrity of the platform and security of the system.

More information about artist and artwork guidelines, technical specifications and some technical support will be provided to the selected guest curator during onboarding.


ART on THE MART will award an award of $40,000 USD to the selected guest curator for the duties described above. If the guest curator is remote, ART on THE MART will reimburse approved travel expenses, to attend an initial site visit, at least one in-person visit for testing and the launch.

Additionally, artist commission and production fees, equipment, installation, maintenance and publicity costs will be addressed separately by ART on THE MART.

How to Apply

Please send application materials combined into one PDF document to, with Guest Curator 2023 Application as the subject line.

Questions in advance of deadline may be sent to with Guest Curator 2023 Questionas the subject line.

Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated by ART on THE MART and its Curatorial Advisory Board based on the following criteria:

Selection timeline:

Timeline– based on 18-month appointment (April 2023 – September 2024)

October 2022 – Public announcement of the initiative, along with other headlines

January 16 until March 3, 2023, Applications accepted

Late March/early April 2023 Announcement of selected curator

April – October 2023: Research around proposed artist short-list, initial artist commissioning for manifestation of a specific 2024 project and ongoing development of 2-year plan

October 2023 Guest curator’s recommended artist that will be installed in 2024 announced

November 2023 Begin development of curator specific 2024 projection

April 2024 On-boarding of second guest curator (terms of first and second guest curators overlap)

June 2024 Opening of first guest curator-developed work

September 30, 2024 First Guest curatorship concludes

Questions/Proposal Submissions:

Questions in advance of deadline may be sent to with Guest Curator 2023 Questionas the subject line.

Please send application materials combined into one PDF document to, with Guest Curator 2023 Application as the subject line by 9:00am CT on Monday, March 6, 2023.