It’s artistic and social media-fuelled democracy in action. With 30,000 Facebook ‘likes’ and more than 1,000 individual donations from around the world, the world’s largest art show has arrived in UK streets.
Founded by Innocent Drinks entrepreneur Richard Reed and launched on 12 August by Sir Peter Blake, creator of the Sgt Pepper album cover, this charitable project runs until this Sunday. Posters and billboards on the streets, in tube stations and on the side of buses and black cabs will drop their usual adverts to show selected works, each of which has been chosen by the public from a long list of art dating from the medieval era to the present day. Each work is connected to interactive, augmented reality technology via Blipper, giving you instant information about each piece through your phone.
“Art Everywhere is an amazing project,” said contemporary artist Bob & Roberta Smith. “Quietly it marks a revolution in the reach and relevance of art. I think it’s the most important initiative in visual art since the opening of Tate Modern. In one hour the number of people who will see Art Everywhere will exceed the number of people who visited our great public art galleries in the whole of last year! People will discover new artists. I hope kids will be inspired to study art and to go to art school.“
There are 23 contemporary, 15 modern and 19 pre‐20th century works in the final list, spread across a total of 22,000 sites, of which 18,000 are poster sites. The works come from 25 UK public collections, including the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Whitworth Gallery, Manchester Galleries and National Gallery of Scotland. The advertising space used for the project has an estimated value of over £3 million, and the project has so far raised more than £130,000.
Stephen Deuchar, director of the project’s supporting charity, Art Fund, added: “The Art Fund is all about thousands of people coming together to bring great art into people’s lives. Based on the same premise, Art Everywhere is putting beautiful images of the best of British art directly onto the streets of towns and cities across the nation. It’s a celebration of national creative talent – our artists across the centuries, and the hundreds of museums and galleries who show their work to the public.”
Facebook: Art Everywhere UK