Chicago’s free, month-long outdoor festival in Millennium Park this February features the U.S. debut of Canadian artist Gordon Halloran’s work, Paintings Below Zero.Just behind Millennium Park’s Cloud Gate sculpture or “The Bean”, Halloran has created his largest installation to date. Unlike the title, it’s not a painting, but a colorful wall of ice chunks measuring 95 feet long and nearly 12 feet tall.The Michigan Avenue side, is meant to echo the city’s skyline. The other side, chock full of color, is meant to be interactive and seen in close proximity. Inspired by a glacial wall in its final stages of movement toward the ocean, the installation will evolve over time with natural and planned changes, encouraging visitors to return frequently to observe the activity.Halloran’s ice paintings use portable refrigeration technology: modular aluminum plates that efficiently conduct the cold. These tabletop-size plates assembled into different configurations help in crating, displaying and maintaining the ice works, regardless of temperatures.Complementing the colorful ice wall, Halloran also embed an abstract ice painting in Millennium Park’s McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, allowing visitors to skate on the multicolored surface.Make sure to stop by this month as it changes. Reviews of the initial installation were a little lackluster. It will be interesting to see how this “exhibit” morphs with Chicago’s varying temperatures.— Anthony P. Munozapmunoz.com

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