THE CITY OF CHICAGO
“I commend the Merchandise Mart on this visionary project, as it will bring new energy to the Chicago River while strengthening our city’s reputation for iconic public art.”
theMART is grateful for the partnership of
the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and the City of Chicago
Commissioner of DCASE
Commissioner of DCASE
The City Of Chicago
In 2017, the City of Chicago celebrated the “Year of Public Art” which culminated with hundreds of new works and public art throughout the city and the creation of Chicago’s first Public Art Plan. This new plan served as a blueprint that helped shape the future of public art in Chicago. As part of the plan, the City of Chicago explored options for siting more public art through the city and Art on theMART is a result of those efforts.
In close collaboration with the City of Chicago and theMART’s owner Vornado Realty Trust, Art on theMART aims to provide public access to innovative contemporary artwork for the thousands of visitors traversing the Chicago Riverwalk each day. As one of Chicago’s most prominent buildings, theMART joins the pantheon of iconic public artworks in Chicago. “This installation is a result of Chicago’s first Public Art Plan and has the potential to be as impactful as Cloud Gate and the Picasso, two public art works which have transformed how we see and experience the city” said Mark Kelly, Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE).
Art on theMART exemplifies the city’s commitment to infusing arts and culture throughout its neighborhoods for all residents and visitors to enjoy, and is a key driver of the rising tourism numbers, attracting millions of visitors from around the world. theMART is interwoven into the fabric of Chicago as an innovator in culture, art, business, fashion, media and more. theMART is the world’s largest commercial building, wholesale design center and one of Chicago’s premier international business locations.
In 2019, Art on theMART partnered with the City of Chicago’s DCASE and the League of Chicago Theatres in a city-wide celebration of Chicago’s theater community, the 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre. “Our hope in aligning with the City of Chicago’s Year of Chicago Theatre [was] to present a program that showcases Chicago’s multi-faceted and multi-disciplinary theater community,” said Art on theMART Executive Director Cynthia Noble.
Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and DCASE have designated 2020 as the Year of Chicago Music. This citywide, year-long focus on music is one of the first of its kind in the U.S. “We are delighted to kick off the 2020 program season with such strong content partners,” said Noble. “As we begin year three of theMART’s long-term partnership with the City of Chicago, we are already becoming an integral part of the cultural fabric of the city and an iconic public art platform that amplifies with is important to Chicagoans and the world.”