It's one of those ingenious recession-driven ideas that allow creativity to flourish anew: the Pop-Up Art Loop, a program created by the Chicago Loop Alliance that offers artists vacant storefronts on a temporary basis each summer. Voilà--a lifeless void on the streetscape becomes a vibrant outpost of cultural exchange.
The project's third season kicks off with tomorrow's "First Thursdays Gallery Walk" (5 to 8 p.m.), which is a chance to see May's five PUAL shows while mingling among the artists and their appreciators. (As per opening-night tradition, libations will be served.)
On our must-see radar during the free walk is Czr Prz's exhibit at 202 S. State Street. Entitled The Three Portraits of Terra, the installation brings Roman mythology into 2012 with a look at how civilization has changed since the days of the Trojans.
And this week's steamy temps are sure to drive a strong showing to Alterpolitan: An Indoor Sculpture Garden in the Inland Steel Building's lobby (77 S. Dearborn St.). With grass and plants from Noisivelvet, benches by Turnstone and sculptures from Art Advisory Ltd., it's a tranquil respite from the post-work bustle.
You've already mastered the art of window-shopping in the Loop. Now take it a step further in the name of art.
Start your tour at any of the five locations; popupartloop.com