Peace Billboards/Seeing Peace Interstate 80

Seeing Peace: Artists Collaborate with 
the United Nations/the Billboard Project/Interstate 80 

A success. The Billboard Project in San Francisco had invited 10 artists from 10 different countries, on 10 billboards around San Francisco, to create an image reflecting what peace looked like from their unique cultural and global perspective Two packed tour buses brought the community around to see and engage these billboards. Artists spoke about what peace meant and “looked like “ to then, we stood in front of their billboard and reflected. It was a transformative experience for many of the viewers and one that encouraged and formed new attitudes and engagements about the role art can play in a larger dialogue that imagines peace. It was clear to all of us that without having an image, many of them as to what “peace looks like,” we might never get there. 

What I now propose is Seeing Peace/the Billboard Project/ the Next Step. 
Interstate 80 is one of the major east west transportation routes in the country. It runs between San Francisco and New York. It is the classical, and in some cases, mythical American road experience. We have a history of being on the road, of imagining endless vistas. What I now propose is the road experience of Seeing Peace. I am inviting, and have been, 192 artists, (including those who created a billboard in San Francisco), one from each one of the member nations of the United Nations, to make one piece of art “reflecting what peace looks like from their unique cultural perspective.”

A line of peace images across the United States

The Peace Billboard Line stretching across the United States is a reflection of both what peace looks like, 192 visions of it, and the historical and complex “melting pot” idea that formed this country, now brought into the 21st century with artists from around the world contributing to the Peace Billboard Line moving across our landscape. 

When I was growing up my family would take road trips during the summer and my brother and I would always look for the small wooden “burma shave” signs that stretched along the road and would announce a coming attraction, i.e. 47 miles to the Elephant enclosure or 16 miles to the snake farm, etc. What I propose, along with the Peace Billboard Line is to engage schools across the country to have students create the signs, i.e., 47 miles to Peace Billboard-Brazil, 83 miles to Peace Billboard-Egypt, and so fourth. 

The opportunity of the Peace Billboard is to create a dialogue within our schools, our communities, our nation and internationally as to what peace looks like is unparalleled.