Like every major metropolis in the world, the city of San Francisco is plastered with outdoor advertisements while works of art remain locked inside museums and galleries.
What if it were possible to flip the system and turn the city into a giant gallery?
That was the question that lured former techie Luke Groesbeck into starting Art City Project, San Francisco’s new cultural group aiming to bring works of art out into the public.
Art City’s pilot urban project has enlisted 19 local artists to take over billboards and bus stops in the Mission District until August 17 for a new public art exhibit titled Way Out West. Groesbeck believes that just as important as the art itself is what these works will replace: advertisements.
“Today, San Francisco has about 7,500 ad spaces, which reach tens of millions of people in a given month,” Groesbeck told T magazine. “We’re doing this to illustrate a different possible future, where in each neighborhood we’re instead surrounded by art and contemporary art plays a major role in our lives.”
Another interesting aspect of the Way Out West exhibition is that it’s taking over the inner Mission, once the hotbed of starving artists has most recently turned into the poster child of tech gentrification.
Below is a map for curious art-spotters to find exactly where these public artworks have been installed.
p.s. San Francisco seems to be a magnet for “art takeovers,” whether corporate or community-driven. Check out photos from the Open Canvas Divisadero Street takeover, sponsored by Absolut vodka.