Exclusive preview of Art on theMart

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Find out what it takes to project bright, colorful art across the Merchandise Mart's 2.5 acre facade.

This weekend, the city will unveil an $8-million project that will transform Chicago's Riverwalk.

Wednesday morning, ABC7 got an exclusive, live look at what "Art on theMart" will look like.

Art will be projected from here to the 2 1/2 acre facade of the Merchandise Mart.

It is the largest, permanent digital projection system in the world. You will be able to see it for two hours a night, Wednesday through Sunday from March to December.

Obscura Digital, which oversaw the system's creation and installation, said there are 34 projectors permanently situated across the Chicago River from Merchandise Mart, just above where people walk along the River Walk.

Year-round need, explained Obscura Digital's head of communications Will Chase, is what makes this set up all the more unique. Normally, a display would be temporary with the projection equipment exposed to the elements. But for Art on the Mart, the system needed to be weather-proof.

That led to the window made of "glass that would allow for the light to be projected through in a very clean fashion but also not fog or have any distortion during the year as the weather changes," said Chase.

ON Saturday, Wacker Drive will be closed off between North Wells Street and North Franklin Street for a public viewing of the projections at 6:30 p.m. The unveiling will take place at 7:15 p.m. with a fireworks show at 8 p.m.

For more information, visit www.artonthemart.com.
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