ST. LOUIS.- More than 70 billboards featuring new, political work of eight renowned contemporary artists will begin to appear today along the highways and byways across Missouri, with concentrations in the state's urban areas and college towns. The initiative, created to mobilize young voters, is made possible by Art the Vote, a Missouri-based, unprecedented effort promoting registration and voting in the November election with original billboard artwork.
Signing ceremonies and photo ops were held today in St. Louis, Columbia and Missouri featuring an Art the Vote artist and celebratory unveiling of several of the billboards.
Tom Huck, known internationally for his provocative wood-cuts, signed his artwork this morning in St. Louis, at the billboard location on highway 40/64 at the Vandeventer exit. The official kick-off will continue to Columbia this afternoon and Kansas City this evening.
The billboards will remain mounted through the first week of November. In addition to provocative images and messages, each billboard features the text,
"Vote. Your Future Depends On it" and the organization's Web site, http://www.artthevote.com.
In addition to seven internationally-renowned artists who were commissioned for this effort (Huck, Peregrine Honig and May Tveit from Missouri, also Mark Newport, Martha Rosler, Annette Lemieux and Willie Cole), an eighth artist, Karen Kay, was the winner of an online competition to be the eighth artist whose work will be included in the art-on-billboard mix.
The competition, held on the organization's Web site, www.artthevote.com, generated more than 10,000 ratings. Submitted artwork covered issues ranging from gas prices to the state of democracy. Kansas City artist Archie Gobber and recent St. Louis Sumner High school graduate David Stephenson placed second and third respectively. All entries can be viewed at artthevote.com.
Art, Awareness, Action: ATV is a nonpartisan, unprecedented, Missouri-based effort to engage, register and mobilize young voters and the creative community prior to the November election. In addition to the use of original billboard artwork, voter registration at arts and cultural activities is a major element of ATV. The initiative will also include the first-ever Missouri Midnight Madness Voter Registration Marathons in St. Louis, Columbia and Kansas City on Tuesday, October 7. Visit artthevote.com for event information.