Art on THE MART Foundation Launches First-Ever Initiative For Guest Digital Art Curator


Via PR

Art on THE MART Foundation announces that applications are now open for a new guest digital art curator program. The selected curator will contribute to programming through commissioning new work and advising on the long-term curatorial strategy for Art on THE MART, the world’s largest digital art experience that transforms an iconic architectural landmark into a 2.5-acre outdoor canvas along Chicago’s vibrant Riverwalk. The program is an 18-month position and will help integrate new global perspectives into the platform while continuing Art on THE MART’s trajectory of bringing dynamic and engaging visual art to downtown Chicago residents and visitors using state-of-the-art technology.

Curators specializing in time-based media art with a background in site-specific video, video projection mapping and audio components are invited to apply. Following a jury selection process by the Art on THE MART Foundation and its Curatorial Advisory Board, one winning curator will be awarded a 40,000 USD prize to assemble a major new commission that will be revealed during the 2024 programming season. In addition, the Art on THE MART Foundation will provide a separate commissioning fee for artwork recommended by the guest curator and confirmed by Art on THE MART.

“The diversity and trajectories of digital art are at an all-time high and as important as ever. The role of public art programs – and Art on THE MART in particular – is to present and promote access to progressive, community-facing art experiences. We look forward to this next chapter for Art on THE MART and the exciting possibilities a new voice can bring to the landscape of digital art,” said Art on THE MART Executive Director Cynthia Noble.

Further details on the application and proposal process can be found here. Applications for the inaugural guest curator position will close at 9:00 AM CT on Monday, March 6, 2023.


About Art on THE MART

Art on THE MART, presented in partnership with Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), is an innovative digital art project that transforms a Chicago architectural landmark into a larger-than-life canvas, spanning over 2.5 acres of THE MART along the city’s Riverwalk. Founded in 2018, Art on THE MART is a platform for cutting-edge moving image work by renowned local, national and international interdisciplinary artists. Under the direction of Cynthia Noble, the program has commissioned work by celebrated names like Nick Cave, Barbara Kruger and Charles Atlas, along with projections by Chicago-based artists and local organizations that elevate voices and artists from underrepresented communities.

The program is a result of a 30-year commitment by THE MART owner Vornado Realty Trust, in close collaboration with the City of Chicago, with a shared goal to provide public access to innovative contemporary digital art for thousands of visitors traversing the Chicago Riverwalk each day. The project marks the first time a projection of its size and scope is completely dedicated to digital art with no branding, sponsorship credits or messaging. The permanent projection system illuminates THE MART with 34 state-of-the-art projectors totaling almost one million lumens. The program content rotates seasonally and is selected with the assistance and expertise of the Curatorial Advisory Board, along with the support of a guest digital art curator initiative that was founded in early 2023.

Projections are visible to the public from Wacker Drive and along the Chicago Riverwalk. The platform is free and open to the public nightly, nine months per year, from April through December.

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THE MART (formerly The Merchandise Mart), located in the center of the sought-after River North submarket, is interwoven into the fabric of Chicago as an innovator in business, technology, culture, art, media and more. As the largest privately owned commercial building in the United States, it is also one of the world’s leading commercial buildings, wholesale design centers and the preeminent international business location in Chicago. Encompassing 4.2 million gross square feet, THE MART spans two city blocks, rises 25 stories, and is visited by an average of 30,000 people each business day and nearly 10 million people annually. Offering continuous innovation and creativity from leading manufacturers and design forward showrooms, THE MART serves as the home to Chicago's most creative and technologically innovative companies including Motorola Mobility, 1871, Yelp, PayPal and MATTER, as well as Fortune 500 companies ConAgra Brands, Allstate, Medline Industries, Beam Suntory and Grainger. For more information, visit


About the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

The City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) supports artists and cultural organizations, invests in the creative economy, and expands access and participation in the arts throughout Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods. As a collaborative cultural presenter, arts funder and advocate for creative workers, our programs and events serve Chicagoans and visitors of all ages and backgrounds, downtown and in diverse communities across our city — to strengthen and celebrate Chicago. DCASE produces some of the city’s most iconic festivals, markets, events, and exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center, Millennium Park, and in communities across the city — serving a local and global audience of 25 million people. The Department offers cultural grants and resources, manages public art, supports TV and film production and other creative industries, and permits special events throughout Chicago. For further details, visit and stay connected via our newsletters and social media.

Image: Nick Cave, Ba Boom Boom Pa Pop Pop, 2022. Courtesy of Art on THE MART.