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Petra Bachmaier

Petra Bachmaier

Innovative artist, Petra Bachmaier, one of the founding members of Luftwerk – the Humboldt Park-based art studio specializing in temporary public art and sculpture – discusses her project, “Turning Sky,” a stunning light installation on Chicago’s 606 trail. Alongside Mimi Zeiger, an LA-Based critic, editor, curator, and instigator, Petra explores how science, technology, and community find their way into art. 

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Luftwerk duo Petra Bachmaier (BFA 1999) and Sean Gallero (BFA 1999) opened their public light installation Turning Sky, which incorporates LED lights with Chicago's 606 bike-path bridge to create visualizations of weather shifts. The project was unveiled January 7 and will stay up for five years. 

Petra Bachmaier, originally from Munich, holds an MA from the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg, Germany. She also holds a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and spent time at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam.

Petra is one half of the artist duo Luftwerk, together with Sean Gallero.

Luftwerk art installations use light to transform experiences of space and site. With immersive artwork at landmarks such as AT&T Plaza in Chicagos Millennium Park, Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House in Illinois, most recently Chicago's Garfield Park Conservatory and Munich's Bayerische Staatsoper to name a few, their work blends history and contemporary media to open new aesthetic conversations within public spaces. Projects to date have been featured in periodicals such as Architectural Record, Condé Nast Traveler, Dwell, The Creators Project, and designboom. Recent awards include an Endorsement Award for Innovation from Surface Magazine, a Media Art Award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), a CODAaward for integration of commissioned art in a public setting, and two featured projects honored by the American for the Arts Public Art Network (PAN).

Brian Skerry, Photojournalist, National Geographic

Sam Farrar of Maroon 5 & Phantom Planet

Sam Farrar of Maroon 5 & Phantom Planet