Friday, October 8, 2010

Loop Art Crawl Launches Chicago’s Inaugural Art Loop Open Oct. 15, with artworks at Chicago French Market

New interactive public art exhibition and competition continues through October 29

Chicago’s inaugural Art Loop Open, a major new art competition judged by the public, places 200 pieces of artwork by Chicago talent on display at 10 official venues, including West Loop community hub Chicago French Market. The competition launches with a festive Loop Art Crawl throughout the downtown area, from 5 – 8 p.m. Friday, October 15.

Art Loop Open is presented by the Chicago Loop Alliance and Chicago Artists’ Coalition. Voting starts on October 15 and will continue through Friday, October 29, 2010 when winners will be announced. Artwork will be on exhibit and for sale from October 30 through November 12.

Official venues include: Chicago French Market/Metra Mart (131 N. Clinton), Block 37 (108 N. State St.), Hard Rock Hotel Chicago (230 N. Michigan Ave.), Hotel Burnham (1 W. Washington St.), Macy’s (111 N. State St.), Merchandise Mart (222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza), Palmer House (17 E. Monroe St.), Hotel Allegro (171 W. Randolph St.), theWit Hotel (201 N. State St.), and W Chicago-City Center (172 W. Adams St.). On the October 15, the public is encouraged to visit each venue and begin voting for their favorite artworks, while enjoying specially-priced “Artini” cocktails and other offerings. Many of the artists will be on hand that evening to discuss their works.

“Chicago French Market/Metra Mart is pleased to be a part of the inaugural year of this exciting event,” said Sebastien Bensidoun of the Bensidoun family, who own, develop and operate Chicago French Market and numerous similar markets throughout France and in several of Chicago’s suburbs. “We’re proud to support not only local vendors and farmers, but local artists and artwork.”

You be the judge!
200 local artists, selected by an esteemed jury from a pool of 750 entries, will be vying for more than $60,000 in prizes, as judged by the public. (The identities of the artists, and the venues at which their works will be displayed, will be announced shortly).

From Oct. 15 - 21, the public is urged to participate in the First Round of voting, at which time they can vote once in support of as many pieces as they’d like, utilizing social media tools including Smart phone and texting applications designed by the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute of Design.

On Friday, Oct. 22, the Top Ten vote-getters will be announced and will compete in a week-long final round of voting, at which time the public is invited to vote only once for their top selection. The three winners with the most public votes will be announced at an awards ceremony, Friday, October 29, and will receive $25,000 (1st), $15,000 (2nd) and $10,000 (3rd). The winners of additional prizes, presented by organizations including the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, theWit Hotel, Palmer House, 3Arts, Merchandise Mart Properties, Inc., Hard Rock Hotel, and the Chicago Art Dealers Association, will be announced at that time, as well.

“Art Loop Open is a truly groundbreaking event that mobilizes the general public to engage with art, artists and each other. We hope that Art Loop Open will inspire community dialogues about visual art by intersecting unlikely populations, such as office and retail workers, students, tourists, theater goers and others in ways they would normally never interact, especially through innovative technologies. At the same time, ALO will empower hundreds of Chicago artists’ careers by giving them access to the city’s At the same time, ALO will empower hundreds of Chicago artists’ careers by giving them access to the city’s most respected curators, by creating an enormous opportunity to build new audiences and by awarding more than $60,000 in prizes,” said Carolina O. Jayaram, Chicago Artists’ Coalition Executive Director.

“Chicago Loop Alliance has been introducing thought-provoking, accessible art to the public through a variety of different programs, such as the commissioning of the three-story EYE sculpture, and the creation of Pop-Up Art Loop, in which vacant downtown sites are used as temporary art galleries. The Art Loop Open is a continuation of these initiatives, and encourages Chicagoans and visitors alike to engage with each other and the art,” said Ty Tabing, Chicago Loop Alliance Executive Director. “There is a rich history of public art in the Loop, and we are proud to augment it.”

Art Loop Open
is made possible through generous support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Blick Art Materials, the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, and the State Street Commission, the governing body of the State Street Special Service Area.

Chicago Loop Alliance
Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA) is a member-based business organization that represents Chicago’s most dynamic mixed-use district- the Loop- and serves the rapidly growing central business area. CLA advocates for Chicago’s most appealing historic and contemporary architecture, businesses, mainstay retail stores, restaurants, residences, hospitality and entertainment, as well as a number of high profile and respected educational and cultural institutions. CLA is focused on bringing together these various Loop businesses and organizations to support one another in creating and promoting a vibrant, flourishing Loop where people live, work and play. The Loop’s boundaries are considered the Chicago River on the north and west, Congress Parkway on the south and Lake Michigan on the east.

Chicago Artists’ Coalition
The Chicago Artists’ Coalition (CAC) is a non-profit arts organization based in Chicago, providing direct services to thousands of artists throughout the city. For 35 years, it has been the mission of the CAC to educate the public on the value of art in society while providing support, advocacy and professional development to artists in our community and improving artists’ living and working conditions. CAC welcomes artists who practice all visual media, including: painting, photography, sculpture, performance, works on paper, installation, conceptual, film and video. CAC creates exhibiting opportunities throughout Chicago, develops educational workshops and one-on-one professional consultations, provides affordable studio spaces, and manages the CAC Coalition Gallery, an artist run gallery in Wicker Park.

For more information about the inaugural Art Loop Open, visit

Chicago French Market is a European-inspired market offering an array of local produce, meats, seafood, breads, pastries, cheese, wine, chocolates, pastas, artisan-made goods, specialty drinks, flowers, prepared meals and a seating area for customers. Chicago French Market’s diverse group of local vendors stay open year-round, six days per week, and is located within the new MetraMarket development at 131 N. Clinton St. (between Washington and Randolph Streets). For more information, visit

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