The artist-led consortium For Freedoms erected billboards on Indigenous Peoples’ Day in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, touching upon pressing issues of the current campaign cycle.
“During For Freedoms’ nation-wide campaigns, we co-opt the advertising mechanisms of our political system: billboards, lawn signs and town halls. Rather than sharing candidate-based messaging, we share messages encouraging deep thinking, self-reflection and discourse. This year much of our billboard campaign is centered around the use of questions. We have asked participating artists to create a billboard using a question that they personally think is most pertinent to ask during this time,” said Creative Producer Taylor Brock.
The launch is an extension of For Freedoms’ campaign, the 2020 Awakening. Using For Freedoms’ network of creatives, the team has produced and placed artist-created media and content in the context of election-related and other political events. The 2020 Awakening responds to For Freedoms’ campaign themes of healing, listening, justice and awakening.
“Our billboard campaign is the great equalizer for accessing art. There’s no fee to pay, no intimidating door to walk through, no exclusive club focused on inviting VIPs only. You just need to be on a road to somewhere,” said Executive Director Claudia Peña.
The For Freedoms team reached out to Virgin Islands curator Monica Marin to help facilitate a billboard to be included for the Virgin Islands. Artists from across the territory submitted proposals and the For Freedoms team, in collaboration with Marin, selected artwork by Mark “Feijão” Milligan II. It was installed on the side of Plaza East Supermarket on St. Croix. The public art project is temporary and will be up for the duration of six months.