Loop Chicago


Artist's Corner: Thēarē Group

ACTIVATE is back this Thursday, July 30! Get ready for an immersive urban art experience in the Loop’s Couch Place Alley, located on State St. between Lake and Randolph. 

Rob McKay, Thēarē Group President, answers our questions about what to expect at Thursday's event and how Thēarē Group's aims to change the way people think about art. 

Describe the work that will appear at ACTIVATE on July 30. 

The work that will be experienced on July 30 will be a mix of music, visual and community art, and interaction; true to the nature of our mission of art bringing people together. 

Can you tell us a little bit about Thēarē Group and its mission?

Thēarē Group is a pro-artist company. We represent creatives from visual artists and musicians, to designers, public figures, and DJs. We work to showcase our artists in non-traditional settings that bring them closer to their audience and introduce them to a totally new audience without losing their integrity.

We want to erase the idea of high-brow and low-brow and respect art for the sake of its creative breath, not separate it. Why separate what's natural to us all: the ability to create?  When you separate, you remove the opportunity to collaborate and understand another's experiences, point of view, and process. Sure, art is subjective. You are going to like what you like, but when you can experience it without the preconceived notion that "this is better" or "this is not good" because it makes it easier to make the choice for yourself and not because of popular opinion.

Art changes the world and our mission is to help that change with art as our weapon of choice. 

How do you envision art and music working together in the alley?

The Alley is the pot and we're making gumbo. From plate to palate. It might look crazy, but it tastes good. For me, it's not necessarily about the art in the alley; it's more about how you experience it.

Can you tell us a little bit about Midway: The Story of Chicago Hip-Hop?

Midway: The Story of Chicago Hip-Hop is a feature-length documentary film and archival project telling the story of the history and struggles of Chicago hip-hop music and culture and its artists.

What is the curation process like? 

Our process had so much to do with the title of the event: Activate. Our goal was to figure out how to “Activate” people to not just view art, but to interact with one another in a space that makes you more human, meaning being free within themselves to smile or speak to someone they don't know. Art and music has a way of doing that and we have a few other things that will enhance that interaction. 

How did you select the artists and projects presented?

All of the artists are represented by Thēarē Group (with the exception of one). Each artist represents our mission even while being true to who they are as an artist.

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