The Art in Ad Places project is a beautiful act of 'civil disobedience'

Artist Caroline Caldwell and writer/curator RJ Rushmore take on the streets of New York City to replace its ad spaces with art and meaningful messages.
(Will Star)
Listen14:23

Whether you live in a small town or a huge city, one thing is for sure: you're bound to run into some ads. It seems like, at every corner, we're being sold something or told something. Well, artist Caroline Caldwell and writer/curator RJ Rushmore were fed up with the constant stream of ads where they live — New York City — so they decided to change that. 

"Public space is shared by everybody but only a few rich corporations decide what messages we're exposed to," Caldwell explains. "And a lot of them are incredibly sexist or environmentally damaging, or they encourage unnecessary spending." 

So, in January, they launched a project they're calling Art in Ad Places. Each week, they replace ads in payphone booths and bus stops with art that they've commissioned from 52 artists, each representing a unique background and style. 

"We really need to normalize that, when you look up, you're going to see something wonderful," Caldwell continues. "And I don't think that's normal yet."

Web extra: Below are some of the works displayed across New York City, as part of the Art in Ad Places project.

Artist Michelle Angela Ortiz's artwork for the Art in Ad Places project. (Luna Park)
Artist Jim Houser's artwork for the Art in Ad Places project. (Luna Park)
Artists Monica Canilao and Eric Loundy's artwork for the Art in Ad Places project. (Luna Park)

— Produced by Cora Nijhawan

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