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Chicago Loop Alliance, Space p11 plan artsy pop-up activations in Pedway with 'Short-Cuts'

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Posted  10 months ago

Press contact: Jessica Cabe | PR and Communications Manager, Chicago Loop Alliance jessica@chicagoloopalliance.com | 312-782-9160

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | November 28, 2018

CHICAGO—From Dec. 3-14, Pedway users will be treated to a series of free pop-up arts programs as part of a brand new project called “Short-Cuts.” Click here for a schedule and more information. Click here for a map of the Pedway with marked event locations. A photo can be downloaded here (credit Chicago Loop Alliance).

Organized by Chicago Loop Alliance and Space p11, “Short-Cuts” is a series of performances and exhibitions that will transform the Chicago Loop’s well-used but underappreciated Pedway system. Artists and designers will showcase their creations off the grid in the Loop’s underground tunnel system, inviting the public to experience the Pedway in a new way.

The Pedway is favored by commuters looking to escape the harsh weather and by people who live and work in the many buildings it connects. Knowledge of the Pedway is a special indicator of belonging, while getting lost in it can inspire the excitement of exploration. “Short-Cuts” taps into the character of the Pedway and uses it as a creative catalyst for activity in the Loop.

Pop-up events comprising “Short-Cuts” include:

  • “Phytovision” by Lindsey French, 12:15-1:50 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 3 – French will discuss her exhibition, “Phytovision,” and her work on plant perception, and will read from “Land of Words,” a selection of poetry by plants that she edited for the journal Forty-Five.
  • “Movement Installation” by Laura Chiaramonte, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7 – This veteran choreographer, dancer, teacher, and videographer will challenge audiences to extend beyond their previously held notions of performance through the collaboration of dance and various art forms.
  • “The Pedway of Today” by Hui-Min Tsen, noon-1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7 – Artist Hui-min Tsen will discuss her work in the Chicago Pedway and her pamphlet, “The Pedway of Today.”
  • “Movie Night for Houseplants and their Humans” by Lindsey French, 6-7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7 – French will host a reception for area residents who wish to bring their houseplants to enjoy water, grow lights and films made just for them.
  • “Music for Phone Booths” by Jeff Kolar, noon-1 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, and 5-6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13 – This sound artist will compose and perform original music for playback inside five vintage, abandoned phone booths located in the Pedway.
  • Lunch Hour Discussion with Jeff Kolar, 12:15-1:15 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13 – Kolar will discuss his sound installation, “Music for Phone Booths,” in the phone booths located in the basement of the Cook County Building, and his impressions of the Pedway.
  • “Chicago Underground,” 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14 – Explore an installation of drawings by School of the Art Institute of Chicago students, who worked for a semester on drawings of the Pedway informed by on-site research, observations and tours by Pedway users.


Chicago Loop Alliance focuses on placemaking initiatives like “Short-Cuts” as a way of improving the public realm in the Loop. Projects like this and its popular summer series of alley pop-ups, ACTIVATE, bring a distinctive sense of place and a strong sense of arrival into the Loop.

“Our mission is to make the Loop as vibrant as it can be in the hopes of attracting people and investment,” said CLA President and CEO Michael Edwards. “Projects like ‘Short-Cuts’ inspire people to see parts of the Loop in a new way. For people who use the Pedway every day, we hope these pop-up events will add something special to their commute. For people who’ve never set foot in the Pedway, we hope they hear about ‘Short-Cuts’ and decide to embark on a little underground adventure.”

“‘Short-Cuts’ builds on Chicago Loop Alliance’s legacy of activating unusual spaces,” said CLA Director of Planning Kalindi Parikh. “It acts as a sort of pilot project that investigates opportunity in the Pedway. We hope it will inspire future projects and improvements to help the Pedway live up to its full potential as an important piece of infrastructure and major Chicago pathway.”

“Most conversation about the Pedway in Chicago is about how to fix what are perceived as its problems,” said Space p11 Director Jonathan Solomon. “We are interested in what unique things can happen in the Pedway because of all the qualities it already has. For example, the Pedway is already a network of cultural organizations. Its spatial complexity and eclectic richness make it a fascinating site for exploration and discovery, the perfect place to open an exhibition space dedicated to shared agency.”

“Short-Cuts” sponsors include: Presenting sponsor School of the Art Institute of Chicago; title sponsors Lagunitas Brewing Company, Little Things and CH Distillery; and team sponsor PNC Bank.

About Chicago Loop Alliance

Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA), the sole service provider for Special Service Area#1-2015, creates, manages and promotes high-performing urban experiences, attracting people and investment to the Loop. For more information, please visit LoopChicago.com.

About Space P11

Space p11 is an independent gallery for off-grid work in art, architecture, design and related cultural practices. Directed by David L. Hays and Jonathan Solomon, Space p11 explores divergent futures and evolving alternatives to modern progress, bringing people and ideas together through exhibitions, performances, talks and reading groups that foreground outside research, extra-disciplinarity, shared agency and distributed expertise. Learn more at space-p11.com.

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