The Collection: Where Art Meets Fashion


Public Unveiling Event Scheduled for October 5. 

This September, THE COLLECTION: Where Art Meets Fashion, the multifaceted contemporary art program of Fashion Outlets of Chicago, will welcome Derrick Adams’ largest commission to date. The monumental mural and lighting installation will be located on the exterior of Fashion Outlets of Chicago at its grand entrance. Adams’ work will join an interactive commission by Chad Kouri as well as a rotating exhibition featuring work by Edra Soto on view inside the shopping center. Curated by Anna Cerniglia of Johalla Projects, all three works will be unveiled during a special public event Friday, October 5 from 7:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.

During the public unveiling event, guests can mingle with the featured artists while enjoying live DJs, food and beverage offerings, free activations and more. Admission is free. The first 100 attendees will also receive a limited-edition item designed by Derrick Adams.

“THE COLLECTION has acted as a model for several of Macerich’s shopping centers across the country, providing an unexpected and engaging cultural experience to our visitors through public art,” said Fashion Outlets of Chicago Senior Property Manager Jim Hansen. “The caliber of the artists behind our new artworks will showcase Fashion Outlets as an integral part of the Chicago area’s vibrant visual arts landscape.” 

Derrick Adams, Chad Kouri and Edra Soto will also create digital works of art to be featured on Fashion Outlets of Chicago’s exterior LED billboards from September 21, 2018 – January 30, 2019. The billboards are located on the exterior façade of Fashion Outlets of Chicago and span both I-294 and Balmoral Avenue. 

Derrick Adams’ seven-story, 4,082 square-foot mural and accompanying lighting installation will transform Fashion Outlets of Chicago’s grand entrance. The mural, titled Fashion Show, is inspired by Adams’ acclaimed Patrick Kelly series and the bold and colorful geometric forms that make up Kelly’s clothing patterns. The work will cover the north-facing façade of the shopping center’s parking garage. Adams’ accompanying lighting installation, titled Fashion Accessories, will be unveiled by December 2018. The installation will illuminate the canopy of the grand entrance walkway and lead Fashion Outlets of Chicago visitors from the porte-cochere to the entrance of the shopping center. 

"It's so fitting to be able to extend the conversation surrounding legendary designer, Patrick Kelly, beyond the gallery walls to such a grand space that welcomes visitors to this center of fashion,” said Derrick Adams.  “I'm thrilled that Fashion Outlets of Chicago commissioned this project, allowing me to pay tribute to this larger-than-life icon." 

THE COLLECTION’s second commission for 2018 will be created by artist Chad Kouri. Kouri has designed an interactive installation featuring colorful shapes to be located inside the shopping center at its grand staircase. An extension of Kouri’s Art For All series, the installation will invite visitors to send a text message to a designated phone number in order to receive a one-of-a-kind digital artwork composed of the very same shapes and colors depicted in the installation. Each participant’s unique artwork will be sent via text directly to their phone as well as appear in a rotation on a digital display monitor located at the top of the staircase.

“Art For All is a project that attempts to bring art to the people, rather than expecting them to come to it,” said Kouri. “Being a part of THE COLLECTION makes a lot of sense as it's an opportunity to bring art into people’s lives when they least expect it.”

The 2018 commissions will join THE COLLECTION’s 16 existing permanent commissions on view at the shopping center including works by Daniel Arsham, Carlos Rolón/Dzine, Matthew Hoffman, Cody Hudson, Sung Jang, Jen Stark and more.

In addition to the unveiling of two permanent commissions, THE COLLECTION will open a new rotating exhibition featuring the work of artist Edra Soto on September 21. Soto’s project, Open 24 Hours, will fill three display cases located throughout the common area of the shopping center. The installations will be composed of freestanding wood shelves and glass bottles found by Soto in her East Garfield Park neighborhood. The work is motivated by the excessive amounts of litter that are visible in the area and will evoke a sense of empathy for the consumption of these bottles as complex forms of pleasure, interconnections and escape from socio-economic oppression.

“Placing the bottles in a still-life format allows me to provide an accessible entrance that is recognizable to viewers,” said artist Edra Soto. “My impulse is to be civic-minded. Recording my process is an intimate insight of my everyday reality and those of my neighbors.”

Open 24 Hours will be on view through January 31, 2019. Previous rotating exhibitions of THE COLLECTION have featured work by artists Aimée Beaubien, Sarah and Joseph Belknap, Assaf Evron, Robert Chase Heishman, Annie Kielman, Ben Marcus, Kate McQuillen, Jeroen Nelemans, Nnenna Okore and Leonard Suryajaya, among others.

About Derrick Adams
Derrick Adams is a New York–based, multidisciplinary artist working in performance, video, sound, textile- and paper-based collage and multimedia sculpture. His practice is rooted in deconstructivist philosophies such as the fragmentation and manipulation of structure and surface, and the marriage of complex and improbable forms. Through these techniques, Adams examines the impact of popular culture and the media on the perception and construction of self-image, resulting in work that appears to be both in a state of deconstruction and in the process of being built. A keen observer of his environment, Adams continuously collects patterned fabrics, culturally specific references and design elements that he incorporates into his work. 

Derrick Adams received his MFA from Columbia University in New York and BFA in Art & Design from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. He is the recipient of the 2016 Joyce Alexander Wein Prize, and a 2009 Louis Comfort Tiffany Award. Derrick Adams has had solo museum exhibitions and performances at the Museum of Arts & Design, New York, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Studio Museum in Harlem, Contemporary African American Museum, Los Angeles, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and Performa, New York, among others.

About Chad Kouri
Chad Kouri is an American artist from a small town north of Detroit, currently living and working in Chicago where he maintains a studio art and design practice while actively participating in the thriving art community on both a local and international level. His decade-long curatorial and collaborative efforts as part of The Post Family have played a large part in creating national and international dialog around Chicago and its world-class creative community. Previously, he has held the title of Art Director for the award-winning contemporary art magazine Proximity. 

Notable upcoming and past exhibitions include displays at Northeastern Illinois University; The Hyde Park Art Center; The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Johalla Projects, Chicago; The Rochester Museum of Fine Arts, New Hampshire; Toledo Museum of Art; Purdue University; Mission Cultural Center of Latino Arts, San Francisco; Apexart, New York and the International Poster and Graphic Design Festival in Chaumont, France. Notable past appearances include visiting artist engagements at The School of the Art Institute Chicago, Glasgow School of Art, Portland State University, Otis College of Art and Design, Pratt University, and The Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany. His projects range in diversity from one of a kind and editioned artwork to self-publishing, interactive displays, large-scale installations, design direction and consulting, book design and most recently, an exploration of painting.

About Edra Soto
Edra Soto (b. Puerto Rico) is a Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist, educator, curator and co-director of the outdoor project space THE FRANKLIN. She is invested in creating and providing visual and educational models propelled by empathy and generosity. Her recent projects are motivated by civic and social actions focus on fostering relationships with a wide range of communities. Recent venus presenting Soto’s work include the Pérez Art Museum Miami (FL), Hunter East Harlem Gallery (NY), UIC Gallery 400 (IL), Bemis Center for Contemporary Art
(NE) and the Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago (IL), among others. Soto has attended residency programs at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (ME), Beta-Local (PR), the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Residency (FL), Arts/Industry at the Kohler Foundation (WI), Headlands Center for the Arts (CA) and Project Row Houses (TX), among others. In 2017 Soto was awarded the Efroymson Contemporary Arts for installation artists. Her co-curation for the exhibition Present Standard at the Chicago Cultural Center was praised with overwhelmingly positive reviews from the Chicago Tribune, Newcity, PBS The Art Assignment and Artforum. Soto was recently featured in Newcity’s annual Art 50 issue Chicago’s Artists’ Artists and at VAM Studio 2017 Influencers. 

Soto is a lecturer for the Contemporary Practices Department at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, were she holds an MFA from, and a BFA degree from Escuela de Artes Plastics de Puerto Rico.  

About Fashion Outlets of Chicago
Fashion Outlets of Chicago is an award-winning 530,000 square-foot, two-level indoor shopping center that is home to more than 130 designer outlets, an impressive contemporary art collection known as THE COLLECTION and high-end amenities. The one-of-a-kind upscale outlet property that redefines and elevates the outlet shopping experience, is located at 5220 Fashion Outlets Way in Rosemont –minutes from O’Hare International Airport and Chicagoland’s major highways. For more information, visit  

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