Starting on Aug. 4, 2014, and continuing for four weeks, iconic locations such as Times Square, Sunset Boulevard and Route 66 and more will be transformed into free open-air galleries for masterworks of American art through Art Everywhere U.S., "the largest outdoor art show ever conceived," according to event organizers.
A nationwide celebration of America's artistic legacy, Art Everywhere is organized through a collaboration among five major museums — the Art Institute of Chicago, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art , the National Gallery of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art — the Outdoor Advertising Association of America and artists, estates, foundations, and rights agencies. Approximately 50 recognized masterworks of American art from the museums' collections will pop up on as many as 50,000 displays nationwide, including static and digital billboards, subway platforms and trains, buses and bus shelters — and the selection will be curated with the help of the American people through an online vote.
Beginning April 7 at www.ArtEverywhereUS.org and continuing for a month, everyone is invited to view 100 American artworks nominated by the museums and vote for the ones he or she would most like to see reproduced outdoors. The final list of some 50 Art Everywhere U.S. works will be announced to the public on June 20, according to an announcement from event organisers.
Speaking for the consortium of five museums, Maxwell L. Anderson, director of the Dallas Museum of Art, said in the announcement, "The works you'll see in Art Everywhere U.S. tell the story of America, express our creativity and reflect who we are — and this is our chance to make them a part of the American landscape, and everybody's life. We hope Art Everywhere U.S. will inspire all of us to learn more about America's artistic treasures, past and present, and discover many more of the great works in our nation's museums."
OAAA President and CEO Nancy Fletcher said the campaign "is the latest chapter, and perhaps the most spectacular, in our members' long history of contributing their resources to public service. At OAAA, we are always mindful of our responsibility toward the spaces we share as citizens. We are thrilled that five extraordinary museums are now enabling us to make this unprecedented contribution to the public sphere by bringing America's artistic heritage directly to the people."
Art Everywhere U.S. will also be live on a full range of social media channels starting today. Twitter users can share their impressions with the hashtag #ArtEverywhereUs. On Facebook, members of the public will be encouraged to share their votes and later will be able to post their own collages of works on view. Instagram will highlight artists, museums and viewing opportunities and will enable people to share the photos taken at multiple sites on "art crawls." On Pinterest, nominated and selected works will be pinned on a dedicated board, and after Aug. 4 photos of the displays will be pinned and organized by both artist and location.
The campaign also will include an interactive feature for mobile devices. Once the displays are up in August, users of the Blippar app can access augmented reality features through their smartphones, including more background information about the artworks shown in selected displays and recordings that add to their understanding of each work.
Art Everywhere is now a global movement, originally conceived in the U.K. by Richard Reed (co-founder of Innocent Drinks). Inaugurated in the U.K. in August 2013 to showcase works created by British artists and owned by the nation, it is an annual event realized through a collaboration of the Art Fund, Tate and the U.K. out-of-home advertising industry.