Billboards project reveals provocative visions of peace

USF professor of visual arts Richard Kamler has organized a unique public art show called the Seeing Peace Billboard Project, composed of his and nine other international artists’ visions of peace.

Beginning today, the art works aren’t confined behind the walls of a museum but will be on billboards scattered throughout San Francisco neighborhoods through June 22.

Artists from Cuba, El Salvador, Iran, Israel, Japan, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Tibet, Ukraine and the U.S. created pieces specifically for the Billboard Project, part of an ongoing initiative seeking to bring the artists’ imagination to the table of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Much of the artwork is provocative. Images include a swaddled baby in a gunsight and a dirty tank split in half by white lilies.

The art is intended to engage the community in dialog around peace, says Kamler.

“Imagine, if you will, that Picasso had painted ‘Guernica’ before the bombs fell on Guernica,” he said. “Might it have been different? We believe art can be proactive.”

The billboards are located at Divisadero and O’Farrell streets; Cesar Chavez and Evans streets; Mission and 17th streets; Mission and Sixth streets; 22nd Avenue and Irving Street; Masonic Avenue and Fulton Street; Valencia Street and Duboce Avenue; Broadway and Montgomery Street; and Judah Street and Ninth Avenue.

For details, visit www.peacebillboards.org.

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