In our quest to find innovate ways to bring art to the public, we must share news about Art Everywhere US.  Art Everywhere US stemmed from Richard Reed’s Art Everywhere movement, and began in Great Britain with the production of Art Everywhere UK, whose mission is “to share the nation's favourite art with as many people as possible…”  Similarly, Art Everywhere US aims to bring “the biggest art exhibition in history” to the United States this summer, displaying 58 great American works of art throughout the 50 states.  These works of art, offered by 5 leading American art institutions, will be reproduced and displayed in public spaces, including outdoor billboards, bus stops, subway platforms, street furniture, movie theaters, and more.  According to their press release, the idea is to transform these spaces “into a free, open-air art gallery across the country.”

Public vote chose the final 58 artworks, out of 100 artworks nominated by the contributing museums. Five of the chosen artworks are photographs – Erwin Smith’s Frank Smith, Watering His Horse, Cross B-Ranch, Crosby County, Texas, c. 1909, Imogen Cunningham’s Magnolia Blossom, 1925, Margaret Bourke-White’s World’s Highest Standard of Living, 1937, Robert Mapplethorpe’s Ken Moody and Robert Sherman, 1984, and Cindy Sherman’s Untitled, 2008Each museum was able to nominate 20 artworks, tasked with choosing pieces that would span the history of the US and paint a picture of the history of American art.  The Art Everywhere US website says, “All in all, the 100 works in Art Everywhere US bring us face to face with the story of our nation, told by the visionaries who captured our essence at the time they lived and worked, and who to this day compel us to find our place in the evolving story of America.”

The big kick off party starts August 4th in Times Square, where all selected artworks will be displayed on digital billboards.  The exhibition will continue for the following four weeks, as the works of art will be installed on various platforms across the nation.

As this is the first year this is being put together in the US, and only the second year the show has collectively run, I look forward to its potential as a means to educate and inspire more people to visit not just museums, but galleries as well.  In my opinion, the more artwork that can get in front of the public eye, the better.  Hopefully the movement will stir thought and conversation, and possibly lead to the inclusion of local art galleries and artists instead of just nationally renowned artists and museums.  At the very least, the program will bring some culture to our transit hubs and potentially inspire a few people’s morning commute.

The initiative stems from a collaboration between five prominent American museums – the Dallas Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the Art Institute of Chicago, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC – and the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) and its members, along with artists, estates, foundations, and rights agencies.

Maxwell L. Anderson, the Eugene McDermott Director, Dallas Museum of Art, spoke for all five museum when he stated, “Art Everywhere US is giving our museums the ability to reach a vast new audience in a fresh and entirely accessible way. We’re literally changing the American landscape with art, and offering people everywhere the opportunity to learn about America’s artistic treasures, past and present.”

Let’s hope everyone stops texting and looks around.

"Untitled, 2008" by Cindy Sherman

"Untitled, 2008" by Cindy Sherman

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