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Holidays in the Loop Painted Windows by Chicago Loop Alliance

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Seven artists have painted festive windows at five businesses on State Street in order to spread holiday cheer at a safe social distance.

November 19, 2020-January 8, 2021

As part of its Holidays in the Loop guide that curates the city’s best holiday offerings, Chicago Loop Alliance matched seven local artists with five Loop businesses for Holidays in the Loop Painted Windows. This festive display can be enjoyed outdoors and at a safe social distance this holiday season. The downtown organization commissioned Chicago artists Roho GarciaBarrett Keithley, Missy Perkins, Dwight White, Jae Webb, Cookie Kwan and Blake Lenoir to paint windows at theWit Hotel (201 N. State St.), The Joffrey Ballet (10 E. Randolph St.), Macy’s (111 N. State St.—Wabash side), Staypineapple Chicago (1 W. Washington St.) and 130 S. State St.

“It’s been quite a year,” said Chicago Loop Alliance Director of Planning Kalindi Parikh. “Chicagoans deserve a joyful and safe holiday season. We want to celebrate the holidays in the Loop in a way that people can enjoy safely and from a distance. We also want to support local artists and businesses. We’ve done storefront window painting projects in the past and found them to be really impactful, so we’re excited to be incorporating this tactic into holiday celebrations.”

Chicago Loop Alliance worked with Paint the City to match local artists with businesses along State Street in the Loop. The artists said they were glad to be involved in a project that would spread some joy this holiday season for passersby.

I am excited to be a part of the project because I love the Loop,” said Paint the City Co-Founder Barrett Keithley, who painted at theWit Hotel. It really is a transformative place where anyone from any part of the city can come together and celebrate what makes us all Chicagoans. It’s also exciting to create murals in a neighborhood I once roamed in my youth, and now I have the opportunity to create something the youth of today can appreciate. This project is the perfect opportunity to spread love and light in such a dark time.”

The title of my piece is Winter’s Kiss,’” said Cookie Kwan, who painted at Staypineapple Chicago. “My inspiration for this mural is the way our beautiful city looks in the wintertime from the Loop. The cold, icy winters seem to always give downtown Chicago an extra glow during the holidays. When I was given the theme for this project, I immediately thought of how much I loved the way the city looks from the train. During the day, the icy river looks like a mosaic piece of art,and at night it reflects the glimmer of the city lights. We all know how rough Chicago can be in the winter, but it’s also pretty stunning.”

Paint the City Co-Founder Missy Perkins, who also painted at theWit, said the best part about the project is seeing how many people walking down State Street were uplifted by the murals. Roho Garcia, who painted at The Joffrey Ballet, added that people smile without realizing it when they notice the artwork on the windows. Jae Webb of An Original, who painted at Staypineapple Chicago, said the warmth of it all seems necessary this year. And Blake Lenoir, a.k.a. B.LenArtistry, said the inspiration for the mural at 130 S. State St. was to find joy in the simple things this holiday season, like a nice cup of hot chocolate and getting dressed up in a new coat.

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