Trading Ads for Art in the USA

What a brilliant idea!

For four weeks this summer, reproductions of 58 iconic art pieces from American artists will be displayed throughout the United States on billboards and other public places as part of the biggest outdoor art show ever to take place in the country.  The idea of the outdoor exhibit, called Art Everywhere, originated in the UK and is coming to the United States for the very first time and making quite an impression already!

These 58 pieces,  including Gilbert Stuart’s portrait of George Washington (c. 1821) and Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Can (1964), were chosen from an original longlist of over 100 American works through public voting on the Art Everywhere website.  Reproductions are set to be displayed on some 50,000 static and digital billboards, outdoor kiosks, staircases, transit signs and public areas in over 170 cities across 50 states.

With all the ads that we see on a daily basis, it is nice to see art masterpieces getting a bit more exposure and coverage for a change! What a great idea it is to display these works outside the walls of their museums and still have them enjoyed as… art!  Part of the campaign objective is of course, to educate the American public and to bring more focus to the arts.  This is made possible through the integration with technology on this campaign.  Viewers can scan the pieces with their smartphones to find out more about the images, artists or the museums that house the piece.

Word of the exhibits are spreading quickly on social media already!

art-everywhere-us-3Source: @emcoutdoor

art-everywhere-us-1Source: @AdrienneVogt

Art Everywhere Source: The Guardian

While I love advertising and seeing ads everywhere I go, I love this focus on the arts and hope that museums in Canada can also support a campaign such as this one in this country!  So far, the value of the donated ad spaces has not been assessed, but figures from last year’s campaign in the UK (which was significantly smaller – running for a shorter period of time with fewer installations) were approximately $5 million US.

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