The Modern Wing: The Art Institute of Chicago

“Everything went off without a hitch and was a huge success”— James Cuno (Director & President, The Art Institute Of Chicago)


The Art Institute of Chicago hired PWE to produce and design an artistic and entertaining ground breaking ceremony for their Modern Wing – “The Building of the Century,” without actually breaking ground.



Since we were not allowed to use the construction site as our venue, we transformed the North Sculpture Garden to set the stage for the celebration. We brought in our partners from the Superbowl to build risers and staging on top of all of the art and sculptures in the garden to create more real estate for the festivities. The North Garden was transformed into a magical setting with characters on stilts animating the space and entertaining the crowd. The celebrations were accompanied by a performance from the Chicago children’s choir & Chicago Symphony Orchestra. A blueprint for the new building, designed by the celebrated architect Renzo Piano, served as the backdrop to a program that featured remarks by Renzo Piano, AIC President James Cuno & Mayor