Art Everywhere launches across 22,000 UK ad sites

The Art Everywhere project brings the work of 57 British artists to 22,000 outdoor advertising sites across the UK for two weeks. Mark Elwood, founding partner of creative agency 101, talks about the project and his agency’s involvement in it

The Art Everywhere project brings the work of 57 British artists to 22,000 outdoor advertising sites across the UK for two weeks. Mark Elwood, founding partner of creative agency 101, talks about the project and his agency’s involvement in it…

101 is one of eight key partners in the Art Everywhere project, which launched this week, alongside Innocent co-founder Richard Reed (who came up with the idea), The Art Fund, Tate, Posterscope, Vitzeum, EasyArt and Blippar.

Sites ranging from billboards to bus stops, taxis and buses are now displaying artwork all over the UK with media owners including Clearchannel, CBS Outdoor, JC Decaux, Ocean Outdoor and Primesight donating space.

Using Blippar, information about each artwork can be accessed via smartphone. Prints of many of the pieces can be bought via the Art Everywhere website.

A mock-up of one of the Art For Everywhere sites

101’s Mark Elwood talked to CR about the project andthe issues involved in putting it all together

CR: How did you decide which artists to feature? What was the selection process?
A varied group of curators, artists and creatives gathered a ‘long’ list of what they thought were excellent works for the general public to choose from. Rather than being limiting this was purely driven to provide a wide range to choose from spanning historic, modern and contemporary works across all mediums. It’s certainly not about creating THE ultimate list – it’s just one list, and this year’s list! The project is all about encouraging healthy debate, encouraging people to respond with their own lists too.

CR: How did you decide which works would go where?
The posters are placed on the most part by format, some works fit perfectly in the dimensions of a billboard whereas others work with the format of a bus stop. The team have looked at the artworks and where possible placed works that are relevant to the local area but generally we have gone for as big a UK spread of works as possible.

CR: Are there any works which specifically relate to their location?

You may find a Constable near Salisbury, a Doig in Scotland or a Lowry in Manchester so regions can be proud of their artists but we have aimed to give as wide a spread as possible.

CR: What was the process for clearing rights to use the works? What was the biggest hurdle ?Were there any works which you were unable to use?
The process for clearing works was a long and challenging one and a big leap of faith for artists to agree to. The longlist of just over 100 is made up of artworks where living artists and galleries have become huge champions for the project. Once we had explained the premise of the project to estates, galleries and artists all bar a couple came on board. It’s uncharted territory for artists. Billboards with their work up large – no selling and no logos!

CR: What was the process for reproducing the works eg proofing, colour etc? What were the particular challenges of that?
Surprisingly some of the UK’s most famous artworks aren’t documented very well. You don’t get sent a perfectly colour balanced, perfect resolution file and told not to deviate! Most of the files were produced from a photograph of the work in-situ in their home gallery, which meant a balancing act of re-touching and colour matching from the galleries reference books. Each gallery/artist/estate wasthen provided with a proof to make sure we were accurate and we weren’t cropping the work at all. Trying to match ‘60’s white’ on Bridget Riley’s work was tough but we got there…

CR: What was the most difficult thing about the project? And the most rewarding?
The most rewarding moment hasn’t come yet, which is seeing the works up and hopefully living up to the promise of being everywhere. The most difficult thing is always dealing with artists work and estates. But also the size and scale of this campaign has been a challenge. We’ve creating artwork for 4, 6, 48, 96 sheet posters, every digital execution you can name from Digital Escalator Panels to screens in Taxis. Oh and we done if for free… which to be honest has been rewarding in itself, for the love of great British art and creativity.

Innocent co-founder Richard Reed, who came up with the Art for Everywhere concept, models a T-short for the project with slogan by Bob and Roberta Smith, who also designed the Art for Everywhere logo. The T-shirt is available in return for a £30 donation. The list of artworks is at arteverywhere.org.uk/artworks.

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