Pedway art project features hibernating bears

by Stephanie Racine

It’s hibernation season for bears—and humans. But a Pedway art installation may turn hibernation on its head. 

“Massimals in the Loop,” will be situated across the Pedway from Dec. 20 through the winter. The artwork depicts hibernating bears that vary in color and size as walkers travel through the Pedway. 

“The spirit of ‘Massimals in the Loop’ is to take this underutilized or underappreciated public space and invite people into it to experience it in a new and exciting way,” Chicago Loop Alliance Director of Planning Kalindi Parikh said. 

The Massimals will be in three sections of the Pedway—the hallway underneath Macy’s, the atrium of the Thompson Center and The Daley Center near the Starbucks. The best route proceeds from Macy’s traveling west to the Thompson Center, according to Parikh, but viewers are encouraged to visit the installation at their own discretion. 

Chicago is a city famous for public art, and Parikh thinks the Pedway should be a part of that movement as well. 

“We want [The Pedway] to receive attention and appreciation so people see it as more than an underground route from A to B,” she said. 

The installation is designed by artist Jason Scroggin and curated by Space p11, an art gallery in the Pedway at 55 E. Randolph. 

Scroggin wanted to create something that people could interact with.

“I want people to hug architectural form,” he said. 

Scroggin believes The Pedway is an opportune location to showcase his work. 

“I think the Pedway is a great space for (the bears) to hibernate and bring a little color and playfulness to people moving through the underground spaces during the colder months in Chicago.” he said. 

“It’s a reaction to the Pedway in general,” Parikh said. “The combination of the natural aspect of the bears and the man-made Pedway sparks a conversation.” 

Leave hibernating to bears and explore The Pedway and “Massimals” this winter. 

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