Our Art on BART ads hit the trains on March 24th, turning six BART cars from typical commuter spaces into miniature makeshift art galleries thanks to 172 incredible Kickstarter backers.
There’s less than 3,000 BART cars in all, so our six cars account for just a little more than 0.2%. But that teeny tiny decimal will still reach 1,179,468 people in the four weeks they’re on the trains. Some people might not even notice, but at least we gave 1,179,468 Bay Area residents the chance have their days made brighter by finding local art instead of ads on their ride.
And two out of the four weeks that the art/ads ride the trains, a selection of the original works are on view at Public Works for anyone interested in seeing them.
When we rode the trains last week to find Art on BART, most people we saw didn’t seem to understand our repurposing of public space, at least not right away. But they started looking when we started looking, and the best part about visual art is that all you have to do is look.
A lot of people have asked us whether this means we think advertisements can’t be art. It’s a valid question, especially since our title for the project as a whole – “Art not Ads” – implies there’s a major distinction.
Ads can definitely be artistic and and beautifully designed, but there’s always a message and an employer paying for that message to come across. We see art as the visual creations made for the sole purpose of expression, with no motive besides the need to create — the type where the money comes after.
Art on BART is our first installation of Art not Ads, a movement taking back ad space for the good of local art, connecting artists with the community that surrounds them.
If any curators or arts organizations out there are interested in bringing Art not Ads to your city or town, get in touch and we can help showcase the artists in your neighborhood.
See ArtonBART.org for more.