Chicago Loop Alliance kicks off First Thursdays gallery walks in May 2012

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Rendering of the indoor sculpture garden. | photo courtesy of the Chicago Loop Alliance

The Chicago Loop Alliance's (CLA) public art initiative Pop-Up Art Loop continues this spring with the kickoff of its popular First Thursdays gallery walks on Thursday, May 3 from 5-8 p.m. Among the galleries will be a garden party in the lobby of Chicago's iconic Inland Steel Building (30 W. Monroe St.), where an installation entitled Alterpolitan: An Indoor Sculpture Garden will transform the skyscraper's lobby with fresh grass, sculptures, benches and bike racks, creating an indoor garden lounge for pedestrians.

Launched by CLA in November 2009, Pop-Up Art Loop transforms empty storefronts in the Loop into vibrant temporary art galleries open to the public. The gallery walks are free, self-guided tours of the many new exhibits throughout the Loop that include complimentary wine and beer, live art making and music. With many of the galleries' artists and exhibitions changing each month, First Thursdays gallery walks will continue through the fall on June 7, July 12, Aug. 2, Sept. 6 and Oct. 4 from 5-8 p.m. For a complete list of current galleries, visit

"Our new pop-up gallery space at Inland Steel is a major partnership between property owners, environmentalists and sculptors, and exemplifies how Pop-Up Art Loop can forge new artistic collaborations in the Loop," said CLA executive director, Ty Tabing.

The artists and works popping up in the May 2012 galleries include:

• Noisivelvet, Art Advisory LTD and Turnstone present: Alterpolitan: An Indoor Sculpture Garden, 30 W. Monroe St. (Inland Steel Building): This unique collaboration will turn the lobby of one of Chicago's most iconic skyscrapers into an urban garden. Complete with sod and local plants donated by Noisivelvet, sculpture provided by Art Advisory LTD and furniture from Turnstone, the 6000-square-foot lobby will be transformed into a social space where pedestrians can enjoy impromptu conversations and an artful reprieve from Chicago's bustling downtown.

• Czr Prz presents: The Three Portraits of Terra, 202 S. State St.: This installation piece by Czr Prz (Cesar Augusto Perez De Arguezo) represents the forces and beauty of nature through a mythological setting, using the goddess Terra, Mother Earth in Roman Mythology, as its iconic reference. The piece explores the growing divide between today's civilized society and the nature of its ancestors. Its pop-up book feel shows how we now view the ideals of those that came before us as though they are our fairy tales. Czr Prz's longtime friend Yves Glavtcheff developed the project.

• Mays Mayhew presents: Reflect/Reflect, 150 N. State St.: Mays Mayhew's work juxtaposes elements of reality and non-reality. The duality of the imagery reflects memories of the past that could also be hopes for the future. Mayhew's figurative narratives create a dialogue around a concept by shining a spotlight on a single element of the human condition. For more information, visit

• Don't Fret presents: Man... The Times... Man, 44 S. Wabash Ave.: Artist Don't Fret exploits the absurdities of everyday life in his piece with a touch of humor. The piece forces people to realize and look at their own imperfections and the social misconceptions that they internalize and project back onto society. Don't Fret's pieces have been featured in cities around the world including San Francisco, Sao Paolo, Berlin, and Prague. For more information, visit

• Maxwell Colette Gallery presents: Ron Copeland, 22 S. Wabash Ave.: The Maxwell Colette Gallery showcases artists who have gained recognition in underground art circles through their involvement in street art and seeks to provide them with further contextualization within the broader contemporary art world through the translation and presentation of their art in non-street venues. Ron Copeland is a street artist that has created compelling art installations in cities such as Pittsburgh and Cleveland. For more information, visit

• Allen Vandever presents at 28 S. Wabash Ave.: May exhibition TBD. Allen Vandever's paintings explore his dreams and visions of the world around him, reliving them through imagery where he feels words fall short. For more information, visit

• Patrick Skoff presents at 29 W. Randolph St.: May exhibition TBD. For information on Patrick Skoff, visit

• What It Is at 23 E. Madison St.: May artist(s) TBD. For information on current artists, visit

Pop-Up Art Loop is made possible through the generous support of downtown property owners and the Chicago Loop Alliance Foundation. Columbia College Chicago and Beck's Beer provide additional support. All of the storefront properties are prepared and maintained at little to no expense to the owner. To submit a property for consideration, please call 312-782-9160 and reference the Pop-Up Art Loop program.

For a complete list of current galleries, visit

Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA) is a member-based civic organization that represents Chicago's most dynamic mixed-use district - the Loop - and advocates for the rapidly growing central business area. CLA focuses on promoting and uniting Loop businesses and organizations to support one another in creating a vibrant, flourishing Loop where people live, work and play. In recognition of its leadership in bringing public art to the Loop, CLA received the prestigious 2011 Pinnacle Award from the International Downtown Association. For more information, visit