Starting Monday, passersby around the country will stumble across classic pieces of art on their daily commute.
A project called Art Everywhere is coming to the US after launching in the UK last year. The project is replacing standard outdoor advertisements with famous paintings through Aug. 31 to spark enthusiasm and conversation around the arts. The hope is also that the project will prompt more museum visits.
There will be 58 pieces of American art displayed in all 50 states on about 50,000 different displays, including billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms, and airports. With the help of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, the paintings are going beyond the museum’s walls and will be available to the general public. You can locate the different displays on Art Everywhere’s interactive map.
Leading up to the launch, thousands of people voted on their favourite American classics, and the winners — along with a couple add-ons from the creators of the project — make up the 58 paintings, which draw from five different museums across the country.
But instead of just plastering pictures around the country, Art Everywhere is integrating social media and technology to create more of a buzz.
Passersby are encouraged to share their thoughts on social media and take selfies in front of the painting using the hashtag #ArtEverywhereUS, according to Maxwell Anderson, the Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art and one of five museum directors participating in Art Everywhere. The top ten most creative photos will win a prints of one of the project’s artworks.
On top of that, 39 of the 58 paintings can be scanned with the app Blippar to add an augmented reality feature that makes the paintings look like they’re floating. It also gives users more information about the artwork, and some works even offer audio guides. Users can also take a selfie through the Blippar app to enter the social media competition.
The idea for Art Everywhere all came from Richard Reed when he happened to walk down a street in the UK and notice a random piece of art.
“It gave me a lift and brightened up that ugly street,” Reed said at the Times Square press conference for Art Everywhere’s US launch.
“There are frames on every building wall,” he said. “They currently show advertising, but posters don’t have to just convey consumer messaging. I thought maybe we can use it to show the country’s art. It’s an opportunity to flood our streets with art, create moments of beauty and reflection amongst our trips to the shops.”
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