Announcing 150+ Artists and Billboard Locations As Part of The
Largest Public Art Project in US History
Artist-Led Campaign "50 State Initiative" Inspires Nationwide Civic Engagement Around Midterm Elections with Powerful Network and Daily Activations
From Left to Right, Top to Bottom: Sanford Biggers, Just Us, Charleston, WV. Marilyn Minter, SAD, Little Rock, AR. Wyatt Gallery, An Expensive Hoax, Olympia, WA. Paola Mendoza and Kisha Bari, I Am a Child, Rochester, NH. Derrick Adams, Ode to Bayard Rustin, Miami, FL and St. Louis, MO. Titus Kaphar, Behind the Myth of Benevolence, Louisville, KY.
(NEW YORK, NY — OCTOBER 10, 2018) — Today, For Freedoms, a collective of artists, institutions, organizations, and people across the country who are experimenting with new and innovative pathways to civic participation, announces the locations and artists for over 150 billboards as part of the 50 State Initiative, the largest public art project in U.S. history. Billboards are now on view in all fifty states, with more going up weekly. Full list below.
With less than a month until the November 6 midterm elections, the artist billboards join the For Freedoms collaboration between over 300 artists and 200 museums, universities, and cultural centers in critical daily activations across the nation. Free and open to the public, these artworks and events include artist-designed billboards, exhibitions, lawn signs, and local community dialogues in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Visit forfreedoms.org to find upcoming events in your city and state.
“One major problem we confront is the binary nature of arguments on political issues. We are not for or against. We are for everything in between,” says Mark Skidmore, For Freedoms Political Advisor. “For Freedoms is trying to grapple with the problem of exclusion and exclusivity. We believe art is a civic catalyst. That means we are welcoming, inclusive, and open to all, and believe everyone should have an equal seat at the table.”
WASHINGTON Wyatt Gallery, An Expensive Hoax
Martin Way E & Chehalis Western Trail, Olympia
WEST VIRGINIA Sanford Biggers, Just Us
MacCorkle Ave SE & West Virginia Turnpike, Charleston
WISCONSIN Gordon Parks, I Am You
Beltline Hwy & Marsh Rd, Madison
WYOMING Paula Crown, Thoughts & Prayers
Interstate 80 Service Rd & E Pershing Blvd,
FORTCOMING BILLBOARDS: Aida Muluneh, The American Dream Alfredo Jaar, Teach Us Anonymous, This Is A Fork Bayeté Ross Smith, Untitled Carlos Motta, Untitled Cassils, Untitled Charlotte Woolf, Don’t Tell Her Who To Be Community Design at Suny Purchase, Believe Me Community Design at Suny Purchase, Rights Gone Wrong Deb Willis, Reflections On Our Freedoms Dread Scott, Untitled Jon Santos, The End Of The World José Parlá, "Equality in Peace" Igualdad en Paz Karen Ishizuka, You Are Here Mariam Ghani,You say we are but dust… Michelle Angela Ortiz,Familias Separadas Mitch Epstein,Disobedience Steve Lambert,The NRA Loves You Wesaam Al Badry, We Didn’t Want War Zoë Buckman, Jemima
From Left to Right, Top to Bottom: Ebony G. Patterson, untitled (...he was 12), Lexington, KY. Travis Somerville,
Nevermind, 2016, Greensboro, NC. William Scott, Untitled, San Francisco, CA. Rashid Johnson, Untitled Anxious Men, Los Angeles, CA. Kambui Olujimi, Consensus of Silence, Des Moines, IA. Christine Sun Kim, Words Shape Reality, Jefferson City, MO & Brooklyn, NY. Awol Erizku, Make America Panther Again, Atlanta, GA. Gordon Parks, I Am You, Brooklyn, NY & Madison, WI. Eric Gottesman, The American Way, Montgomery, AL. Harrell Fletcher, It’s Time To Read Orwell Again, Portsmouth, VA.
ABOUT THE 50 STATE INITIATIVE
Since 2016, For Freedoms has produced special exhibitions, town hall meetings, billboards, and lawn sign installations to spur greater participation in civic life. This year, For Freedoms launched the 50 State Initiative, an artist-led campaign to inject nuanced, critical thinking into public discourse, encouraging broad participation and inspiring conversation around November’s midterm elections. Centered around the vital work of artists, For Freedoms hopes that these exhibitions and related projects will model how arts institutions can become civic forums for action and discussion of values, place, and patriotism.
For Freedoms launched 52 separate Kickstarter campaigns to put up 52 billboards in all 50 States, DC, and Puerto Rico. For Freedoms was able to triple their original billboard goal through donated billboards from Lamar and PowerAds Puerto Rico, and partnerships with 21c Museum Hotels, Light Work, Undefeated, the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and Imprint City, among others.
“For Freedoms champions creativity as an essential American value. We welcome all to participate. The goal is to encourage dialogue across partisan lines and fundamentally challenge partisanship itself,” says Emma Nuzzo, For Freedoms Programs Manager. “With our partners, we are exploring the role of arts institutions and artists in connecting with and mobilizing their local communities.”
An additional 50+ billboards will be created independently by various 50 State Initiative partners. To date, For Freedoms has held nearly 150 local activations and events, from town hall conversations to art installations, in more than 40 states, and many more are coming in the weeks ahead.
From Left to Right, Top to Bottom: Cheryl Pope, Lines Can't Be Drawn In The Middle, Chicago, IL. Muna Malik, Exodus 22:21, Charlotte, NC. Mike Mandel & Larry Sultan, Whose News, Little Rock, AR. Anonymous, Pardon Me, Philadelphia, PA. Jim Goldberg, It's Mourning in America, Lincoln, NE. Tuan Nguyen, Not Spaceship Earth, Providence, RI. Wangechi Mutu, Africa's Out!, Trenton, NJ. Stacey L. Kirby, Yo Soy Válida, Durham, NC. Richard Renaldi, Who Are We, Cedar City, UT. Deb Willis, Reflections On Our Freedoms, location pending. Justin Brice Guariglia, We Are The Asteroid, Anchorage, AK & Oklahoma City, OK. Prune Nourry, <<River Man>>, Fargo, ND.
50 STATE INITIATIVE BILLBOARD LOCATIONS
Anchorage, AK; Montgomery, AL; Bentonville, AR; Little Rock, AR; Phoenix, AZ; Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; Denver, CO; Hartford, CT; Washington, DC; Wilmington, DE; Miami, FL; Orlando, FL; Sarasota, FL ; Tallahassee, FL; Atlanta, GA ; Honolulu, HI; Des Moines, IA; Boise, ID; Chicago, IL; Decatur, IL; Normal, IL; Gary, IN; Indianapolis, IN; Topeka, KS; Lexington, KY; Louisville, KY; New Orleans, LA; Brockton, MA; Boston, MA; Baltimore, MD; Cumberland, MD; Portland, ME; Rockland, ME ; Detroit, MI; Lansing, MI; St. Paul, MN; Jefferson City, MO ; Kansas City, MO; St. Louis, MO; Jackson, MS; Helena, MT; Charlotte, NC; Durham, NC; Greensboro, NC; Raleigh, NC; Fargo, ND; Lincoln, NE; Rochester, NH; Newark, NJ; Trenton, NJ; Las Cruces, NM ;Las Vegas, NV; Albany, NY; Brooklyn, NY; Syracuse, NY; Cincinnati, OH; Columbus, OH; Oklahoma City, OK; Salem, OR; Harrisburg, PA; Philadelphia, PA; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Providence, RI; Columbia, SC; Aberdeen, SD; Rapid City, SD; Clarksville, TN; Nashville, TN; Austin, TX; Cedar City, UT; Chesapeake, VA; Fairfax, VA; Norfolk, VA; Portsmouth, VA; Richmond, VA; Montpelier, VT; Olympia, WA; Madison, WI; Charleston, WV; Cheyenne, WY.
50 STATE INITIATIVE BILLBOARD ARTISTS
Adam Pendleton; Ahron Weiner; Aida Muluneh; Alfredo Jaar; Awol Erizku; Bayeté Ross Smith; Carlos Motta; Carrie Mae Weems; Cassils; Charlotte Woolf; Cheryl Pope; Christine Sun Kim; Christopher Myers, Community Design at SUNY Purchase; Cristina Velásquez; David Birkin; David Byrne; Deborah Willis; Deborah Kass; Demian DinéYazhi’; Derek Eley; Derrick Adams; Donald Moffett; Dread Scott; Dustin Yellin; Ebony G. Patterson; Edgar Arceneaux; EJI; Emily Hanako Momohara; Emily Jacir; Eric Gottesman; Esteban Valdés; Favianna Rodriguez; Fred Tomaselli; Gordon Parks; Gran Fury; Guerrilla Girls; Hank Willis Thomas; Harrell Fletcher; Jamila El Sahili; Jeffrey Gibson; Jeremy Dean; Jesse Williams; Jessica Ingram; Jim Goldberg; Jim Ricks; Jon Rubin; Jon Santos; José Parlá; Joy Sela; JR; Justin Brice Guariglia; Kambui Olujimi; Karen Ishizuka; Kate Gilmore; Ken Gonzales-Day; Kisha Bari; La Puerta Bandera; Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel; Lorraine O'Grady; Luis Jacob; Mariam Ghani; Marilyn Minter; Mequitta Ahuja; Michael Rakowitz; Michelangelo Lovelace; Michele Pred; Michelle Angela Ortiz; Miguel Luciano; Mitch Epstein; Muna Malik; Natalie Frank; Natalie White; Paola Mendoza; Paula Crown; Peter van Agtmael; Prune Nourry; Rashid Johnson; Richard Misrach; Richard Mosse; Richard Renaldi; Ronald Rael; Sadie Barnette; Sam Durant; Sanford Biggers; Shaun Leonardo; Shinique Smith; Sol Guy; Stacey L. Kirby; Steve Lambert; Steve Locke; Stuart Sheldon; Susan Meiselas; Suzanne Lacy; Teens with a Purpose; Theaster Gates; Titus Kaphar; Tomashi Jackson; Travis Somerville; Trevor Paglen; Tuan Nguyen; Wangechi Mutu; Wendy Ewald; Wesaam Al-Badry; William Scott; Wyatt Gallery; Xaviera Simmons; Zoë Buckman
From Left to Right, Top to Bottom: Emily Hanako Momohara, Family Incarceration: Never Again is Now, Boise, ID. Dustin Yellin, HERE COMES THE SEA...Anthropogenic Climate Change and the future of our species, Columbia, SC. Cassils, Fire, location pending. Mequitta Ahuja, LOOP, Hartford, CT. Suzanne Lacy, ONE/US, Albany, NY. JR, Migrants, Mayra, Picnic across the border, Tecate, Mexico - U.S.A., 2017, Phoenix, AZ. Paula Crown, Hurt People Hurt People, Los Angeles, CA. Jeffrey Gibson, THIS STORY HASN’T BEEN WRITTEN YET, Raleigh, NC.
ABOUT FOR FREEDOMS
For Freedoms is a collective for creative citizenship founded by Creative Capital artist Eric Gottesman and 2018 Guggenheim Fellow Hank Willis Thomas. It is a collaboration between artists, arts institutions, and active citizens who experiment with and produce new forms of civic action. It believes in—and advocates for—creativity as a civic right, participation as a civic duty, and deeper discourse as a catalyst of civic change. And it welcomes all.
For Freedoms started in 2016 as a platform for civic engagement, discourse, and direct action for artists in the United States. Inspired by Norman Rockwell’s 1943 paintings of the four universal freedoms articulated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1941—freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear—For Freedoms seeks to use art to deepen public discussions of civic issues and core values, and to clarify that citizenship in American society is deepened by participation, not by ideology. For Freedoms is part of a rich history of artists employing means of mass communication to provoke political discourse. For Freedoms believes art, and artists, play an important role in galvanizing our society towards a more representative and transparent government.