Uplifting ‘Everybody’ Billboards Are Popping Up Across America’s Heartland
The 18-billboard campaign hopes to send a message of unity to a divided country.
If you’ve been driving across the country lately, at roughly the 40th parallel, you might have spotted one of the “Everybody” billboards by an anonymous artist. The project is looking to send an uplifting message of unity at a time that our country is more divided than ever.
The national art installation features an “Everybody” logo, written in a bold cursive hand, emblazoned across a variety of colorful backgrounds. The works were installed in mid-March, with the everybodypaintings Instagram account sharing its first post, of a blue billboard in Colorado Springs, on March 16.
A Google Map listing of all the billboard locations reveals no less than five in Colorado Springs. The map shows 18 billboards in all, ranging from the eastern-most artworks in New York City west to Reno. Most cut across the country’s heartland, in places like Terre Haute, Indiana; Kansas City, Missouri; Omaha, Nebraska; and Dayton, Ohio.
“The artist chose the 40th parallel,” wrote the artist’s publicist, Emily Spitale, in an email to artnet News, “as it is a line that cuts across the country both dividing and uniting us like a stitch across the quilt of America. By placing them along this line, the art is meant to remind us of the amazing variation across our country—cities, mountains, fields and desert. The art, with its one word, shows there is a commonality that runs through our country, and that’s the spirit of the American people.”
Though the artist has chosen to remain anonymous—”because it isn’t about them, it’s about EVERYBODY,” Spitale insisted—they have shared a few in-progress shots from the studio, geotagging the images on Instagram as having been taken in Atlanta.
The cheerful paintings are meant to “spark conversation and invite participation,” and are undeniably optimistic at a moment when many are deeply concerned about the future of our country.
The artist is encouraging the public to spread their uplifting message with the hashtags #everybodypaintings, #everybodybillboards, and #weareeverybody. The official project website offers the following artist’s statement:
We need surprises that are good.
Not something in our feed, but in our fields.
To drive by, not scroll through.
We need something to feel.
A thing to wonder, not worry, about.
Something that reminds us that out of many,
we are one
and that we are EVERYBODY.
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