'Art Everywhere US' floods cities, rural areas with paintings

Thu Aug 7, 2014 7:49pm EDT
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By Lauren Young

NEW YORK (Reuters) - From the stern couple in "American Gothic" displayed at a bus station in New York to the colorful flags in "Allies Day" over an intersection in Chicago, paintings are popping up everywhere in what is billed as the world's largest art show.

"Art Everywhere US," which was launched this week and runs through Aug. 31, features reproductions of 58 classic and contemporary American paintings, including works by Grant Wood, Childe Hassam and Winslow Homer, displayed on public spaces in cities and rural areas normally reserved for advertising.

The aim of the project is to spark conversations and museum visits.

"It is our hope that glimpses of great art on the streets will lead people to the masterpieces of the originals," Douglas Druick, president of the Art Institute of Chicago, said at the launch of the project in New York.

The Art Institute is one of the five American museums participating in the massive art road show spanning all 50 states through a collaboration with the Outdoor Advertising Association of America.

"Art Everywhere US" features works of art on more than 50,000 digital and static displays such as billboards, bus shelters and signs. The art will also be shown in movie theater trailers, on video screens at health clubs and other locations.

The U.S. art show is the offshoot of last summer's "Art Everywhere UK", which was the brainchild of businessman Richard Reed, a co-founder of beverage company Innocent Drinks.

"It exists to flood our streets with art," Reed said at the launch.   Continued...

A reproduction of the art work "Allies Day" (center, top) is displayed on a digital billboard in Times Square, New York August 7, 2014. REUTERS/Eric Thayer