ART LOOP OPEN
Art Loop Open was a groundbreaking event that mobilized the general public to engage with art, artists and each other.
Launched in 2010, Art Loop Open inspired 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 -- while empowering 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.
191 artists from the Chicago area were selected by a professional jury from a pool of 750 entries for exhibition in ten Loop venues: Block 37, Chicago French Market/MetraMarket, Hard Rock Hotel Chicago, Hotel Allegro, Hotel Burnham, Macy’s, Merchandise Mart, Palmer House, theWit Hotel, and W Chicago-City Center. Based on public voting, via text and mobile scan technology, the field was narrowed to 11 finalists in the first round, October 15-21, and from the second round of voting, October 22-28, the top three award winners were determined. All 191 artists remained in competition for a series of merit awards judged and granted by Chicago organizations and businesses.
In addition to the direct impact to artists’ careers, Art Loop Open inspired civic engagement by utilizing pioneering technology and dynamic public programming. A team from the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute of Design (IIT) worked closely with Microsoft to introduce cutting edge technology that allowed the event to broadcast and disseminate information in ways never before seen. Programs, such as artist talks and specially designed tours, were scheduled at various venues to further educate the public about the exhibited work.