Here is the press release for the Billboard Show I'm participating in. The opening is on Saturday, April 21 at 6 p.m., so if you're in the L.A. area, please stop by and check out some great art.
“OFF THE WALL 3” Turns Old Billboards into New Works of Art
Unique Indoor/Outdoor Art Exhibit Premieres April 21
LOS ANGELES—To celebrate Earth Day, Peter V. Schulberg, owner of the Los Angeles Eco-LogicalArt gallery (www.eco-logicalart.org) will host OFF THE WALL 3, a unique, indoor and outdoor, fine art exhibition in which discarded billboards are transformed into spectacular works of art. For the first time ever, original artwork will also be created on actual 14’ by 48’ recycled billboards located around Los Angeles for the run of the gallery show which will premiere on Earth Day Eve, April 21st , at 6 p.m.
OFF THE WALL 3 will feature works by a two dozen local artists who have created paintings out of vinyl canvases made from recycled billboards. The work will be on display both inside ECO-LA’s Los Angeles gallery and on the building’s exterior, and include both new works and a retrospective of the previous OFF THE WALL 1 & 2 shows.
Displaying large-scale artwork on billboards is not only a novel concept; it will take OFF THE WALL 3 to unprecedented heights. “Once again, ECO-LA is working with cutting edge artists to turn ‘dead’ ads and the staid gallery world inside out,” observed Schulberg. Traffic data indicates that the original art billboards may be viewed by more than 250,000 Southern California motorists per day. Los Angeles’ popular Getty Museum, by contrast, attracts on average 4,000 visitors per day.
More than 60 artists participated in the two previous OFF THE WALL shows. The shows attracted hundreds of eager visitors to the Eco-LogicalArt gallery and resulted in more than $25,000 in sales of recycled vinyl art. “As an eco-bonus,” Schulberg noted, “approximately 10,000 square feet of pvc vinyl has been diverted from local landfills.”
The idea of turning old billboards into new works of art came to Schulberg in 2004 when he learned that tons of billboard advertising is tossed into landfills every month. Schulberg, who makes functional art from recovered materials, thought the situation cried out for a green solution. He began experimenting with applying paint to the vinyl sheets used in billboard advertising and invented a new stretching process so that the material could be used as canvases. He then placed notices on art newsgroups offering free canvases and exposure on the exterior of his gallery.
Schulberg compared the response to the movie Field of Dreams. “I asked artists to work for nothing on this weird new material for the opportunity to have their work exhibited on the exterior on my gallery—hostage to the heat, wind, rain, and a kid with a paintball gun,” Schulberg recalled. “But the artists, some who sell for thousands of dollars, came and keep coming.”
Perhaps not surprisingly, the vinyl canvases proved almost impervious to the elements. None of the artworks showed signs of fading, flaking or wear, even after being pelted by winter rainstorms. Even local graffiti artists left the artwork alone. Schulberg notes that the vinyl canvases turned ECO-LA into Los Angeles first “drive-by gallery.”
The warm response generated by the first two OFF THE WALL exhibitions gave Schulberg the idea of expanding the show’s reach by returning some of the vinyl canvases to the place where they began—that is, to actual billboards. With grants supplied The Vinyl Institute (www.vinylindesign.org), a national trade organization representing manufacturers of vinyl products, and Scion (www.scion.com), he then enlisted the support the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (www.oaaa.org) and display heavyweights CBS Outdoor and Van Wagner Communications to donate prime billboard space. As a result, “eco-logical” artwork will appear on five billboards located around Los Angeles, including atop Schulberg’s gallery, during the month’s of April and May. Once the billboards are taken down the art will be stretched into conventional canvasses and offered to the public in a “back to earth” event at the gallery.
Schulberg’s hopes for his eco-logical art experiment continues to rise. With ECO-LA about to go non-profit, and with hundreds of billboards getting “killed” daily he has plans to create a national “renewable imagery” billboard art tour, of getting the material into public schools and to providing free mural walls to the inner city kids. “It’s a green win-win whose time has come,” he said. “But this new dynamic also recalls an old Shaker saying that is one of my touchstones: ‘We do not inherit the earth from our parents; we are borrowing it from our children.’”
1 day ago