Art on theMART Announces Program Aligning with City of Chicago's Year of Chicago Theatre

Art on theMART Announces Program Aligning with City of Chicago's Year of Chicago Theatre

theMART, with the City of Chicago, today announced the program alignment of Art on theMART, the largest permanent digital art projection in the world, with the 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre, a city-wide celebration of Chicago's theater community spearheaded by the City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) and the League of Chicago Theatres. Art on theMART's spring program will feature Chicago theater with a work by renowned lighting designer John Boesche. The program will debut March 13 and loop for two hours a night, five days a week (Wednesday - Sunday), beginning approximately 15 minutes after sunset. Subsequently, a collaborative piece by two Chicago theater professionals, scenic designer John Musial and Lucky Plush Artistic Director Julia Rhoads, will premiere on the river-façade of theMART in June.

"Our hope in aligning with the City of Chicago's Year of Chicago Theatre is to present a program that showcases Chicago's multi-faceted and multi-disciplinary theater community," said Art on theMART Executive Director Cynthia Noble. "Each selected artist contributes in a unique way to Chicago theater and will lend their perspectives to Art on theMART's monumental platform, transforming this iconic work of public art."

On March 13, lighting designer John Boesche will unveil the first acts of 7 soliloquies, a multi-part projection piece that captures seven significant Chicago theater artists in brief solo performances. In addition to performers, the work will also feature prominent composers, sound and scenic designers, puppeteers and visual artists, creating a celebration of Chicago's diverse theater community. Boesche will continue to add acts to the work following its premiere. Boesche's work will be presented alongside a new commission by Istanbul-based video mapping group Ouchhh Studios for the spring program. The complementary piece uses data gathered from musical compositions by famed Chicago-based jazz musicians to create a real-time experience in which a landmark architectural site transforms Artificial Intelligence into a visual experience.

"Art on theMART brings Chicago's legacy of public art and iconic architecture together and helps reshape the way people interact with the Chicago River," said Mayor Emanuel. "It is a fitting tribute to align the 2019 programming with the Year of Chicago Theatre; bringing new energy to the Riverwalk and honoring the cultural and artistic diversity that theater adds to our city."

Art on theMART's second commission in alignment with the Year of Chicago Theatre is the result of a collaboration between scenic designer John Musial and Lucky Plush Artistic Director Julia Rhoads. The work utilizes fragmented choreography and script from Julia Rhoads' work with Lucky Plush, a Chicago-based dance and theater ensemble, reimagined within John Musial's layered and evocative projection design. The source material draws from Lucky Plush's Rooming House, in which varied interpretations of personal and mythic storytelling leads down a rabbit hole into the lives of everyday people who do extraordinary things.

"This project brings a surprising intimacy and humanity to the grand stage of theMART's river-façade, truly reflecting the adventurous and collaborative spirit of Chicago theater," Julia Rhoadsstated.

Art on theMART 2019 program selections were confirmed by an esteemed Curatorial Advisory Board comprised of several of the city's most distinguished arts and culture leaders. In addition to Art on theMART Executive Director Cynthia Noble, Curatorial Advisory Board members include Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Assistant Curator Grace Deveney, Art Institute of Chicago Assistant Curator Robyn Farrell, EXPO CHICAGO President/Director Tony Karman, Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Director of Public Art Lydia Ross, artist Edra Soto and artist Amanda Williams.

Image Credit: Rendering of 7 Soliloquies by John Boesche

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