Our February blog lineup starts with a story as big as a billboard…The Billboard Creative that is! Haven’t heard of this fantastic art organization? Then, you’re in for a treat! Here’s the story.

It’s that time of year again where artists get the chance to see their artwork massive-sized on dozens of billboards throughout Los Angeles! That’s right – The Billboard Creative (TBC) is back with its 9th Annual Exhibition. We first blogged about the non-profit back in 2019 and again in 2020. We’re excited to cover this year’s Exhibit.

For those who haven’t heard of TBC, let us fill you in. Per their website, TBC is a non-profit organization that aims to connect emerging and undiscovered artists with mass audiences. In highlighting an international selection of artists and artworks on a mass scale on the streets of Los Angeles, TBC hopes to broaden the reach of public art, especially for those whom traditional art exhibitions have proven inaccessible. Above all, the core principle is to create a democratic approach to contemporary art.

TBC offers an alternative to the vast sea of commercial messages bombarding commuters each day: art replacing advertising, for an entire month, at some of the busiest intersections throughout Los Angeles. The shows turn LA into an open-air gallery, showcasing art on billboards at major junctions across the city, including Sunset & Vine, Beverly & Laurel, and Hollywood & Western. That’s a sight for sore eyes! Now, to figure out how to do a selfie with a billboard…Whoops. Back to the story.

Their goal is to facilitate a cultural exchange by connecting emerging and underrepresented artists with a mass audience and adding a dose of contemporary art into the daily lives of Angelenos. The shows inject artistic speech into the urban environment and give all art enthusiasts access to works that might otherwise go unseen.

Shows are led by a guest curator and employ a blind submission model. Works from well-known guest artists, such as Ed Ruscha, Lawrence Weiner, and Paul McCarthy, are hung in the shows along with that of the artists chosen through curation to help shine a brighter light on the less-established artists. And this fall TBC is working with The Hammer Museum to co-produce five billboards as part of its Made In LA exhibition. So cool!

As a nonprofit, TBC has continued to grow by partnering with cultural institutions and distinguished artists. There are plans for an upcoming special exhibitions and for expansion into other cities. With submissions and donations increasing each year, the all-volunteer staff works tirelessly to provide opportunities for artists to share their work with the broadest audience possible.

Submissions are open internationally to all art disciplines – if you can put it in a digital file, they can put it on a billboard. So why submit? Here are just a few great reasons:

  • Artwork in TBC shows have been passed by cars more than 67 million times (whoa!) and appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Flaunt Magazine, the Huffington Post, NPR/KCRW’s Art Talk, Creators Project, and L’Oeil de la Photographie among numerous other publications.
  • All TBC show billboards are documented and images are made available to both the media and participating artists for use on social media, websites, and other communications.
  • Viewers are guided through the show via a smartphone map, which provides directions for visiting board locations, as well as bios and links to each artist’s personal web page.
  • Artists retain the rights to their work and any inquires are sent directly to the artist or their gallery.

And who curates the show? Here are just a few of the past curators:

This year, the non-profit is excited to announce the start of their art grant initiative. Three artists will receive $500 each for nonspecific art grants. Woot!

The entry fee is $27 and $7 for additional entries. Deadline July 31st, 2022. So what are you waiting for? Submit now!

Good luck to all the artists!

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If you enjoyed this story, please feel free to share on your favorite social media to get the word out about this great organization! Thank you for your support.

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