ARTIST: JENNY HOLZER
ARTIST: TOMASHI JACKSON
ARTISTS: CARRIE MAE WEEMS / JEFFREY GIBSON
ARTIST: JURREL CAYETANO
ARTIST: NAUDLINE PIERRE
ARTIST: FOR FREEDOMS
ARTIST: RON LEWIS
ARTIST: ANN HAMILTON
ARTIST: FOR FREEDOMS
OBM has been committed to developing media that supports the production and presentation of art since our inception in 2004. We believe art is a powerful form of expression that enriches communities and encourages meaningful dialogue. #OBMARTS develops key partnerships with internationally recognized and local artists, as well as museums, art institutions, and curators, to activate art in highly visible areas. These collaborative efforts and ongoing investments expand the reach of art in public spaces to broader and more diverse audiences, delivering on our mission to improve lives in cities through our media platform. Learn about the artists and organizations we worked with here.
WALLS FOR A CAUSE NYC
Walls for a Cause NYC, a multi-site public art exhibition and philanthropic initiative, launched in the late fall of 2020. Curated by Joeonna Bellorado-Samuels of gallery We Buy Gold and Diana Nawi for Orange Barrel Media, the project presents commissioned paintings from nine contemporary artists in the form of large-scale murals on prominent OBM wallscapes throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan. Participating artists include Felipe Baeza, María Berrío, Theresa Chromati, Ariel Dannielle, Chioma Ebinama, Marcus Jahmal, Christopher Myers, Naudline Pierre, and Ilana Savdie. Murals were display for residents and visitors throughout 2021 in rotation with commercial messaging. The original paintings were featured in an online exhibition called On the Other Side of Something by We Buy Gold from January 21 – March 24, 2021. A percentage of the sale of each piece was donated to support NYC nonprofit Project EATS, a neighborhood-based initiative that uses art, urban agriculture, partnerships, and social enterprise to sustainably produce and equitably distribute essential resources within and between our communities.
SHIKATA GA NAI, 2022
Shikata ga nai is a yonsei (Fourth-generation Japanese American) story, a Los Angeles story, indissociable from the complexities of intergenerational and collective trauma, fences and cages, gentrification, displacement, water and labor politics, and how and where we choose to live. Previous and ongoing work bears witness to Devon Tsuno’s long-term engagement with Los Angeles and its waterways, the xenophobia hidden in rhetoric about native and non-native plants, changing geographies, and the precarity of various human and non-human ecosystems that make up his hometown.
In Shikata ga nai, Tsuno’s mode of storytelling extends outwards and backwards in geography and time, with lush, layered, hard-edged, spray-painted images of plant life seen through dust and haze. Desert plants of Topaz, Utah, where Devon’s paternal family was incarcerated during World War II, commingle with the last surviving azaleas his maternal grandfather planted as a gardener to the stars in Beverly Hills. Their colors are those of heatstroke, hot winds, and stubborn life. For a series of related artist’s books, Tsuno superimposes portraits of family members (his great-aunt Chiye, for example, the last living member of his family who was at Topaz) over some of the defining landscapes of their lives and has reproduced writing from incarcerated teenagers, an archive of which he found on a recent trip to Topaz. A portrait from this series is included here, alongside moments of landscape and encounter from this place that holds so much history.
ART FOR ACTION
Launched in advance of the 2020 election, “Art for Action” was an artist-driven non-partisan voter awareness campaign developed to counteract voter suppression, encourage engagement, and drive action through the deployment of dynamic public art and voter resources. It was the largest and most geographically diverse effort of its kind. Curated by the Wexner Center for the Arts and Diana Nawi, the campaign featured the works of seven local and four national artists, including Carrie Mae Weems, Jeffrey Gibson, Jenny Holzer, and Tomashi Jackson. The art component worked synergistically with OBM’s “You Can Vote” ads to enable action through resource links, customized digital tickers counting down to key state-specific deadlines, and proprietary software that allowed IKE kiosk users to register to vote and request an absentee ballot via QR code handoffs. The campaign ran on a network of digital billboards and kiosks in 16 cities nationwide, including key battleground states Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and Georgia.
NARI WARD: WE THE PEOPLE
MCA Denver and internationally recognized artist Nari Ward partnered with OBM on an ambitious public art project to extend a retrospective exhibition of Ward’s work entitled We the People beyond museum walls. The artist’s famous wall-drawings, which he creates by drilling shoelaces into architectural walls to form images and texts, appeared as digital content on 38 large-scale displays and kiosks throughout Downtown Denver. As a companion project to the retrospective, Ward debuted a major new work entitled LAZARUS Beacon (2020) – a powerful site-specific digital content that champions equal access to art and urges closer inspection of American history. The dynamic multi-story video projection was unveiled on the Daniels and Fisher Clocktower, a highly visible 325’ tall structure located in the heart of the City. The projection was on display several nights per week from July through September 2020.
FOR FREEDOMS: 2020 AWAKENING
For Freedoms is an artist-led organization that harnesses the power of art to encourage civic engagement, public discourse, and direct action. Over the past two years, we have used our media platform to support various For Freedoms initiatives, including our recent participation in their 2020 Awakening campaign. Created to drive greater participation in American democracy and timed to coincide with the November elections, 2020 Awakening featured more than 100 billboards by over 85 artists in all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.