Interested in applying for Art on Track? Good news! Everything you need to know is right here:
-Art on Track is a free event for artists. The application is free and there is no cost to participate.
-Applications due: July 10th
-Accepted applicants notified by: July 20th
We are free for a few reasons. There is the community we are trying to support through this initiative, there is historical context (we’ve always been free), and last but not least; It’s actually really difficult to participate.
That’s right, part of the reason its free is because it is so hard to successfully execute an Art on Track exhibition. We are a bit of an art Olympics.
Artist groups have only 6 hours to install their work the day of the exhibition. Correct. Everything has to be brought down to midway airport (our install location) and put in the train, perfectly, the day of the show. 6 hours might not sound too bad but consider that at the end of the night you only have 45 minutes to de-install your artwork. 30 minutes of this time the train will be moving as it heads back to midway airport.
If your not dissuaded yet here is the rest of the application information:
Who can apply for Art on Track:
Artists, designers, performers, and anyone who is a creative individual or group can participate in Art on Track.
Art on Track is not a great exhibition to sell your owl pendants, pillow cases with dinosaur embroidery, or plates with stag heads glazed onto them… We love craft and all manner of creative product/art. Truth is, a moving train is a really bad sales floor.
People have sold work at Art on Track before (of course you are allowed to). It does happen, but not often. Consider before applying that Art on Track was designed to sell artists not artwork. AoT is a great way to get noticed and reach out to other opportunities.
Past participants have gotten picked up for curatorial gigs, hired by local colleges, asked to participate in exclusive gallery shows and gotten networked up with a bunch of really great artists and fans. Art on Track is a place to show the world how creative you are, not sell your latest work.
What are you applying for?
Half of an orange line train car.
The series number of the train is 3200 (all orange line trains are 3200). If selected you will be given half a car for your work. The half car has its own dedicated door and is approximately 400 square feet. We cannot provide you with exact dimensions of the train car or measurements. We understand that this would be very useful. It’s a legal thing.
Really want to participate but concerned you can’t fill all that space? Get a couple buddies together and propose a group show. 400sqft doesn’t sound like a lot of space but these trains are massive. It would be a huge undertaking for one person to fill a half car and we will of course take that into consideration.
Is there any type of prohibited artwork?
We cannot show:
-Artwork which physically endangers our passengers
Also, at the end of the day, the CTA will review all of the artwork before it can go on the train. The CTA has final word on all approvals.
What you actually send to us as your application is up to you. Here is what we want to see:
-A little bit about yourself. send us your resume, website, and links to past exhibitions or press. The more we know about you the better.
-A proposal. Let us know what you plan on doing, give as much detail as possible. Send images of the proposed artwork. If you have an installation or time based piece give us concept renders or sketches. You absolutely have to send some sort of physical depiction of what is going to be happening.
-Anything else you think will help your case. Share your story, send us a letter of recommendation, whatever you think will persuade us.
How applicants are chosen:
Once we receive your materials the mysterious process of curation begins. All submissions will be looked over even if you don’t receive an email from us. Selected applicants will be notified by July 20th.
things we will consider when looking over your application:
-Is it feasible? If we don’t think you can afford it, physically accomplish it, or pull it off we will dismiss your application.
-Can it be accomplished in our tight time frame
-Thoughtfulness. Does it address the space of the train? Is your proposal just to hang work in the train car or have you really addressed the context of the space? In the past groups have produced pieces that make noise as the kinetic energy of the train is transferred during starts and stops. Groups have hung work salon style creating a wall of art. There has been some pretty amazing and successful works. Before sending your application in you ought to look at images from past AoT’s to see what you find to have been a good installation. Learning from the past is awesome.
Photo sets online:
Send your application:
To me Tristan (at) builtforart .com
Send it to me anytime but no later then July 10th.
Feel free to ask me any questions, strange requests, or inquire about different aspects of the application.
Before you shoot me your Q’s, here are a few
Frequently asked questions:
Q: Is there power on the train car?
A: No, there are no outlets or power sources available. That is a different style of train car.
Q:Can we utilize the train cars PA system?
A:No, sort of, the train PA system cannot be used on individual cars separately from the whole train. We can play audio through all the cars for you potentially but cannot give you your own dedicated audio feed over the speaker system
Q: Do you have any money for me?
A: Sorry, we don’t have the ability yet to give you some cash to help with install.
Q: can we bring our own power supply?
A: Yes. but, No engines (anything that takes gas or fuel) Batteries are fine but you must have no exposed wires or contacts and it must be located out of the way of the patrons movements inside the train. If you know you will be planning on bringing a power source on board the train you must get it pre-approved by me (Because I have to get CTA permission).
Q: How can I install on the train
A: Anyway you like so long as you do not harm the train in any way. No screwing into the seats, hanging from the door emergency open cord, etc…NO DUCT TAPE.
Q:Can I have music?
A: yes, acoustic, amplified, live, whatever you like.
Q: Can people eat or drink on the trains?
A: yes. provide snacks if you want to clean it up.
Q: Will there be alcohol served/ can I serve alcohol.
A: No. The CTA prohibits alcoholic beverages from being present on their charters.
Q: Will you add us on your website?
A: Absolutely, send us your link or a write up about your organization and we will place you on our site. Link to our site from yours!
Q: what direction does the train circle the loop?
Q: How long doe sit take to make one revolution around the loop?
A: 15 minutes, approximately.