Cinematic images of the iconic elevated transit system known as the “L” train have become synonymous with Chicago. Just as the Loop, the downtown neighborhood the “L” trains famously encircle, has become the beating heartbeat of Chicago. In this bustling sector of the city, a treasure trove of art, culture, and architecture await. Though some five miles of Chicago’s subterranean pedestrian way system of tunnels and bridges connect more than 40 blocks in the Loop, linking buildings, CTA Stations and commuter rail stations, the Loop is a part of town best experienced from above ground.
At every turn, in every fashion, art confronts visitors to this cultural haven. In galleries, in street art, in theaters, in buildings, and in the
air — art is alive.
Step into the Art Institute of Chicago and discover some of the most famous works by Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Vincent van Gogh in one of the most extensive collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art outside of the Louvre in Paris. Then step outside and walk around the Loop taking in the city’s storied architecture and immersing yourself in the public art that ornaments the streets in what might best be described as one of the most extraordinary outdoor art exhibits in the world.
There’s Pablo Picasso’s The Picasso at the Daley Center, Marc Chagall’s mosaic mural, The Four Seasons, at Chase Tower Plaza, Joan Miró’s mixed-media sculpture, Chicago, at the Brunswick Building Plaza, Alexander Calder’s red Flamingo at Federal Plaza, and Jean Dubuffet’s Monument with Standing Beast (affectionately known as “Snoopy in a blender” among the locals) at the James R. Thompson Center, among so many others. And, for something a little different, there’s also The Wabash Arts Corridor at Wabash Avenue where an ever-expanding installation of massive murals by renowned street artists adorn a seven-block stretch of the South Loop.