The non-profit organization For Freedoms started 52 Kickstarter campaigns to put up 52 billboards in all 50 States, plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico. Across the country, they gave billboard space to artists around the country, giving them an opportunity to express themselves ahead of the midterm elections on November 6.
For Freedoms claims this public art project is the largest creative collaboration in American history. Over 300 people and 200 institutions contributed time and resources. Titled The 50 State Initiative, the billboards were unveiled in October and will come down at the end of November.
Among the artists contributing to the project are Fred Tomaselli with his I’ve Fallen And I Can’t Get Up billboard in Helena, Montana; Paula Crown’s Hurt People Hurt People in Los Angeles; and For Freedoms’ own Four Freedoms in New Orleans.
Founded in 2016 by artists Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman, For Freedoms is a platform for creative civic engagement, discourse, and direct action, inspired by artist Norman Rockwell‘s paintings of Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s Four Freedoms (1941): Freedom Of Speech, Freedom Of Worship, Freedom From Want, and Freedom From Fear.
For Freedoms’ exhibitions use art to advocate for equality, dialogue, and civic participation. At a place where art, politics, commerce, and education meet, For Freedoms injects “anti-partisan” critical thinking through installations and public art.
“The shift and change we want is to add more nuance in the kind of conversation we have in public about the issues most important to us. By inserting artist voices into the landscape and into the public conversation, we hope to do that.”
The billboards could change the way some Americans look at art, politics and the role of advertising in public space.
“We want to add more nuance in the kind of conversation we have in public about these issues. By inserting artist voices into the landscape, and into the public conversation, we hope to do that.”