Your local bus stop just got a little more artistic.
Over the next 30 days, iconic work by American art legends like Willem de Koonig, Edward Hopper, Chuck Close and more will transform over 50,000 displays — from bus stops and subway platforms, to billboards and movie theaters — across the country into free, open-air art galleries.
The project, Art Everywhere US, claims to be the “largest outdoor art exhibition ever conceived.” To launch the project, work appeared across digital billboards at Times Square on August 4th.
Supported by the Art Institute of Chicago, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, a total of 58 artworks were selected by the public through an online vote where they picked their favorites from among 100 artworks. Topping the list was Edward Hopper’s midnight-oil-burning classic “Nighthawks” — perhaps an an ideal image to keep passers-by away late at night.
Naturally, we’re not all art history pros, and just because our bus stop now sports a gorgeous painting doesn’t mean we’ll be able to ID it. To help turn the program into an interactive, educational experience, Art Everywhere will feature the app Blippar. The interactive image tech allows users to point their phones at the artwork and unlock information, including augmented reality experiences, audio guides and more. For an especially long subway wait, this could be a top-notch time killer.
The 50,000 displays will be tracked through an interactive map on Art Everywhere’s website, but a few national location highlights include San Francisco’s Embarcadero area, the Westside, Los Angeles, and the Mass Pike, Boston. So now as you commute to work, billboards for upcoming action blockbusters will be replaced with images from the country’s art canon. But to be honest, we’re not sure which type of imagery is more American. Either way, we’re not mad about it.