Floating Museum to Travel to Locations Along the Chicago River, Chicago Riverwalk and Chicago Park District's Eleanor Boathouse Among Other Summer Locations

August 2, 2017

The exhibit River Assembly will transform an industrial barge into a mobile art gallery displaying work created by local artists, cultural institutions and community organizations


The Chicago Riverwalk and the Chicago Park District’s Eleanor Boathouse at Park No. 571 are welcoming a temporary riverside exhibition by the Floating Museum, the collaborative arts organization that creates temporary, site-responsive installations to activate sites throughout Chicago. The interactive spaces engage artists, historians and organizations in events that think outside the museum and generate community conversation. The summer exhibition River Assembly starts August 7 at the Eleanor Boathouse in Chicago Park Districts’ Park No. 571 (2828 S. Eleanor Street) and will remain on view through August 13. The barge will then travel along the river to the Chicago Riverwalk (at the River Theater between LaSalle and Clark Streets) where it will dock for two weeks from August 14 to August 28, when it will move on to Navy Pier. The installation is open daily, and admission is free.

“The Floating Museum is taking collaborative arts to the next level by bringing temporary, site-responsive museum spaces to sites throughout Chicago’s neighborhoods,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Using the city’s waterways, the museum activates sites along the river to bring art and cultural programming directly to visitors and Chicago residents.”

The Floating Museum has transformed an industrial barge into the aesthetically striking River Assembly exhibit – a mobile gallery and platform for public art and cultural programming. At each docking site, art crates will be unloaded to the riverside. The exhibition features a monument to Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable, a moving image program, interdisciplinary performances and a “wonder cabinet” made from crates by Terry Dowd Inc. Some of these crates contain artwork, while others are transformed into works of art to be displayed along the riverside. The River Assembly exhibit plays on concepts of buoyancy and migration to physically move art across neighborhoods and transforms city sites into a full museum campus with exhibitions and programming.

Free music performances, community discussions and hands-on activities will take place by the river every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday in August, with programming  at SkyART (3026 E. 91st Street) August 2–4, at the Eleanor Boathouse August 9–12 and at the Chicago Riverwalk August 16–27. Wednesdays will feature a “Song Circle” led by renowned poet and vocalist Avery R. Young. Thursdays will feature “Breaking Bread” sessions with a panel of community participants leading a conversation, and Fridays will present live music events. Saturday afternoons (12–3pm) bring “Sticks + Tape”–a guided collaborative building exercise for all ages–making a temporary, large-scale art structures out of simple materials. Additionally, on Saturday, August 12, the film Salty Dog Blues will screen in partnership with South Side Projections and Nights Out in the Park at Park No. 571.

From August 15 to 27, a free daily tour will lead visitors through the Chicago Riverwalk’s display, discussing the artists, partners and museum. Finally the culminating event “art.i.fact” will take place on the Chicago Riverwalk on August 27, 7–8pm. Playing on the idea of art as truth-telling, the event brings together some of the city’s most talented musicians and singers for a combination of live music led by Avery R. Young, dance performances and video art.

Floating museum participating artists include Miguel Aguilar, Marcus Alleyne, Hebru Brantley, Kris Casey, Louis DeMarco, Bill Douglas, Assaf Evron, Krista Franklin, Maria Gaspar, Adam Hines, Yashua Klos, Pope.L, Mary Mattingly, Cecil McDonald Jr., Jesse McLean, Christopher Meerdo, Derek Moore, Dan Peterman, Cheryl Pope, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Fernando Ramirez, Cauleen Smith, Sheila Smith, Edra Soto, Lan Tuazon, JGV/WAR , Maria Villarreal, Roman Villarreal, Amanda Williams, Bernard Williams, and Avery R. Young and De Deacon Board. Participating organizations include DuSable Heritage Association, DuSable Museum of African American History, Graffiti Institute, Hyde Park Art Center, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, Project Onward, SkyArt, Southeast Chicago Historical Society, South Side Projections, T.R.A.C.E and West Pullman Park Special Rec. Program.

The Floating Museum joins other temporary installations of public art on the Chicago Riverwalk this summer. Between Franklin and Lake Streets, visitors can currently see the monumental Deer by Tony Tasset, Vejigante, Mask On by Sam Kirk and Ballerinas by Tyrue “Slang” Jones.

Scott Reeder’s Real Fake is on view at the northeast corner of Upper Wacker Drive and Wabash Avenue. A series of banners designed by Candida Alvarez will be installed in mid-August east of Michigan Avenue.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and DCASE have designated 2017 as the “Year of Public Art” with the 50x50 Neighborhood Arts Projects, the creation of a Public Art Youth Corps, a new Public Art Festival this October, and exhibitions, performances, tours and more – representing a $1.5 million investment in artist-led community projects. For more information, visit cityofchicago.org/yopa—and join the conversation on Facebook (Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events), Twitter @ChicagoDCASE and Instagram @ChicagoDCASE, #2017isYOPA #chipublicart.

The Chicago Riverwalk is a 1.25-mile promenade through the heart of the city that continues to offer new and improved ways to enjoy Chicago's waterfronts and architecture. Programming is produced by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events in collaboration with the Chicago Department of Fleet and Facility Management, Choose Chicago, the Chicago Park District and the vendors and boat tour operators along the Chicago Riverwalk. For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit chicagoriverwalk.us—and join the conversation on social media using #ChiRiverwalk.


Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events is dedicated to enriching Chicago’s artistic vitality and cultural vibrancy. This includes fostering the development of Chicago’s non-profit arts sector, independent working artists and for-profit arts businesses; providing a framework to guide the City’s future cultural and economic growth, via the 2012 Chicago Cultural Plan; marketing the City’s cultural assets to a worldwide audience; and presenting high-quality, free and affordable cultural programs for residents and visitors.


Chicago Park District

The Chicago Park District is the 2014 Gold Medal Award winner, recognized for excellence in park and recreation management across the nation. For more information about the Chicago Park District’s more than 8,700 acres of parkland, more than 600 parks, 26 miles of lakefront, 12 museums, two world-class conservatories, 16 historic lagoons, nearly 50 nature areas, thousands of special events, sports and entertaining programs, please visit www.chicagoparkdistrict.com or contact the Chicago Park District at 312/742.PLAY or 312/747.2001 (TTY). Want to share your talent? Volunteer in the parks by calling, 312/742.PLAY.


Floating Museum

For more information about River Assembly, visit floatingmuseum.org. Stay up to date with events and activities by following @thefloatingmuseum #floatingmuseum on Facebook and Instagram.


# # #