“Way Out West” – a city-wide project produced by The Art City Project in San Francisco (CA) – was recently featured in the New York Times for its ambitious takeover of local billboards. Featuring work by MMG’s Andrew Schoultz (among many other noteworthy contemporary artists), the project has been the subject of praise and criticism alike. Says the Times:
In San Francisco, where tensions between established artist communities and Silicon Valley continue to rise, Luke Groesbeck, a former tech worker and the founder of the fledgling public art organization Art City, wants to help his hometown reinvest in the former. “This is a city with a major arts and cultural legacy,” he says. “How do we honor that? Then an idea came up and I got fixated on it: What happens when you turn an entire city into a gallery? Is it possible?”
From now until Aug. 17, San Franciscans will get to find out. As part of Art City’s Way Out West project, Groesbeck, along with his crew of curators and organizers, worked with advertising companies and the local creative community to coordinate his organization’s pilot urban art takeover. Eleven billboards, four buses and three transit shelters in the Mission District are being resurfaced with works from 20 artists, many of whom have long-running involvements in San Francisco’s street art scene. The subject of art versus commerce is a timely one in the Bay Area, especially in the once-gritty, rapidly gentrifying Mission. “Artists, musicians and other creatives that make San Francisco what it is are being pushed out,” says Brett Amory, an internationally exhibited artist and local resident who is also participating in the project. “The Mission District is one of the areas getting hit hardest by this change. It’s a very appropriate place to have art by local artists displayed, as a reminder of what the city is really made of.”
Don’t miss this exciting public exhibition, should you find yourself in the Bay Area this summer. Andrew’s billboard can be seen in the Mission between 17th and 18th St.