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Chicago's Downtown Goes All 1980s With Immense, Fluorescent Art

Installation artist Jessica Stockholder wants pedestrians to feel like they're "walking through an animated film."
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Chicago Loop Alliance

Taking a trip through Chicago's downtown this summer will be like reeling time back to the 1980s, or perhaps visiting a laser-tag arena. Artists at this very second are laying down bright, neon hues at the buzzing intersection of State and Adams, and when the painting's all done the block should look like an IED went off below the Culture Club tour bus.

The bold redecorating of the Loop is being performed by Jessica Stockholder, a canon-altering presence in the world of installation art who teaches at the University of Chicago. Her "Color Jam," running from June 5 to September, splashes building facades and sidewalks with so much bright purple, green and orange that pedestrians will think they're "walking through an animated film."