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(Chicago, IL)  A colossal, site-specific installation of boldly-colored, abstract paintings in ice by Canadian artist Gordon Halloran will be the centerpiece of a new winter celebration in Millennium Park, Museum of Modern Ice, February 1-29, 2008. The installation, which marks the U.S. debut of Halloran’s innovative work, Paintings Below Zero, will incorporate a brilliantly colored ice wall – 95 feet long and nearly 12 feet tall – into Millennium Park’s dramatic art and architecture. Situated on Chase Promenade behind Cloud Gate, this project will be the artist’s largest and most spectacular installation to date. To complement the majestic structure, Halloran will also embed an abstract ice painting within the Park’s McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, allowing visitors to skate on its multicolored surface. The installation and ice rink will be available for all to enjoy free of charge.


By combining color and light with the ever-changing nature of ice, Halloran will create an engaging visual spectacle in Millennium Park, one of Chicago’s most popular public spaces. Composed of multiple panels of vividly colored vertical ice sheets, the monumental ice wall will be enormous in scale, yet intricate in detail created by pigments interacting with the crystal structure of the ice. 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.


“Chicago is well-known for offering rich cultural resources and Gordon Halloran’s groundbreaking work supports our long-standing commitment to bringing world-class art to this city,” said Mayor Richard M. Daley. “Chicago is proud to be the first city in the United States to present Paintings Below Zero which is a must-see exhibition for both residents and visitors this winter.”


Free weekend family activities will be offered in or near a heated tent adjacent to the ice wall. Interactive programs such as ice games, hands-on art projects, and dancing will encourage the public to celebrate the vibrant winter season.


The Chicago Cultural Center across from Millennium Park will become the Hot Spot for residents and visitors to warm up and enjoy weekend cooking demonstrations, knitting and crafting activities, music concerts, film screenings, and cabaret performances. To complete the ice theme, the Café at the Cultural Center will offer a special menu of ice-inspired snacks and hot drinks.


Museum of Modern Ice is presented by Canadian National, North America’s Railroad (CN); the Chicago Office of Tourism; the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs; and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Bureau of Tourism. The celebration is also supported by American Express, Hard Rock Hotel Chicago, Lifeway Foods, and the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau.


“CN is pleased to be a presenting sponsor of Paintings Below Zero during the Museum of Modern Ice celebration and to support Canadian artist Gordon Halloran’s work, which has been internationally acclaimed,” said E. Hunter Harrison, President and Chief Executive Officer, CN. “Our partnership with the City of Chicago is particularly gratifying because Chicago is a critical center in our North American rail operations and home to approximately 1600 employees.”


“Governor Blagojevich and I are proud to support this major initiative in Millennium Park, one of the nation’s finest cultural assets,” said Jack Lavin, Director, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Museum of Modern Ice will give visitors another compelling reason to travel to Chicago and experience all that it has to offer as a great winter destination.”


For more information about Museum of Modern Ice, visit


About The Artist: Gordon Halloran

After a successful career in magazine illustration and 20 years as an internationally exhibited painter, Gordon Halloran returned to a medium integral to his youth—ice. While watching a hockey practice, Halloran realized that as a child in rural Ontario, creating backyard ice rinks had been his first artistic experiences. Inspired by the reflective and malleable surfaces, he began to experiment with color within the ice, creating a unique art form that is ever changing and ephemeral by nature. With his series Paintings Below Zero, he has created public events around the world and transformed ice rinks into shared community spaces where everyone can experience the joy of art. In 2004, Halloran was selected to create an installation for the Cultural Olympiad of the 2006 Turin Olympic Winter Games. Other ice paintings and large-scale ice sculptures have been commissioned for the World Figure Skating Championships, Calgary’s Olympic Plaza, and Toronto’s WinterCity Festival.


About Millennium Park

Located in downtown Chicago on Michigan Avenue between Randolph and Monroe Streets, the 24.5-acre Millennium Park is an unprecedented center for world-class art, music, architecture, and landscape design. Among the park's prominent features are the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion, the most sophisticated outdoor concert venue of its kind in the United States; the interactive Crown Fountain by Jaume Plensa; the contemporary Lurie Garden designed by the team of Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, Piet Oudolf and Robert Israel; and Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate sculpture. Millennium Park is open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. The McCormick Tribune Ice Rink is open daily from 10am until 10pm.


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