Here Are the 300 Artists Making Billboards for Every US State as Part of Hank Willis Thomas’s Midterm Election Project

For Freedoms, the political action committee co-founded by artist Hank Willis Thomas, unveiled today the artists in its landmark “50 State Initiative.” More than 300 artists, including J.R., Marilyn Minter, Rashid Johnson, Tania Bruguera, and Theaster Gates have designed billboards that encourage political participation, and which will be erected in each of America’s 50 states ahead of the November midterm congressional elections.

“The ‘50 State Initiative’ can change the political landscape by inspiring more people to participate in civic life and broadening the concept of what democratic participation looks like,” the project’s producer, Miriam Fogelson, told artnet News. 

Sanford Biggers, Just Us (West Virginia). Photo courtesy of For Freedoms.

Artists were free to depict whatever they wanted on their billboards, according to For Freedoms co-founder Eric Gottesman. “We built For Freedoms as a platform for these artists’ voices,” he said. “There were no guidelines as the basis of this project is embracing artists’ creativity as a means of inspiring civic dialogue and participation—it’s about what they had to say.”

To realize the hugely ambitious project, For Freedoms partnered with more than 200 American art organizations, from grassroots art centers to major museums, and even international groups. The organization tried “to match the artist’s vision and message to location and issue,” said For Freedoms political advisor Mark Skidmore in an email. For example, Muslim artist Jamila El Sahili’s billboard, Human Being, is going up in Lansing, Michigan, where the first Muslim woman could be elected to congress.

Skidmore says that the organization isn’t affiliated with either political party, and in fact describes itself as “anti-partisan.” But although the current political landscape remains one of the most partisan eras in American political history, Fogelson hopes the initiative succeeds by taking an less common approach. “For Freedoms aims to make civic engagement more inclusive of people who have felt excluded from, or disinterested in, traditional political processes,” she said.

Paula Crown, Thoughts and Prayer (Wyoming). Photo courtesy of For Freedom.

See the full list of artist billboards by state below:

ARIZONA

JR, Migrants, Mayra, Picnic across the border, Tecate, Mexico – U.S.A., 2017
I-10 & Vicksburg Rd, Phoenix

ARKANSAS

Zoë Buckman, Inaction is Apathy
S Walton Blvd & SW 12th St, Bentonville

ARKANSAS

Marilyn Minter, SAD
US 70 & N Alexander Rd, Little Rock

CALIFORNIA

Paula Crown, Hurt People Hurt People
Crenshaw Blvd & W 59th Pl, Los Angeles

CALIFORNIA

Rashid Johnson, Title Pending
S La Brea Ave & W 1st St, Los Angeles

COLORADO

Susan Meiselas, 2:00 a.m. Arrest and documentation of twelve-year-old boy, Imperial Beach, CA, 1989
Federal Blvd & W Irving Pl, Denver

CONNECTICUT

Trevor Paglen, Nov 6th, 2018.
US-6 & Pope Park Hwy, Hartford

DELAWARE

Ken Gonzales Day, Untitled, 2011, featuring Bust of A Young Man, Antico (Pier Jacopo Alari-Bonacolsi), and Bust of a Man, Francis Harwood
Old Airport Rd & Delaware Turnpike, Wilmington

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Edgar Arceneaux, Hopelessness Freeze Time
Anderson, Letts, and McCabe Halls at the American University, Washington

FLORIDA

Derrick Adams, Ode to Bayard Rustin
NW 79th St & NW 5th Ave, Miami

FLORIDA

Carrie Mae Weems, Continue to Dream
Pérez Art Museum Miami, Miami

FLORIDA

Trevor Paglen, Nov 6th, 2018
Pérez Art Museum Miami, Miami

FLORIDA

Stuart Sheldon, The Best Words
Student Union / Bookstore, Florida International University, Miami

FLORIDA

Stuart Sheldon, The Best Words
US Century Bank Area, Florida International University, Miami

FLORIDA

Jamila El Sahili, I Love You
Teaching Academy / Welcome Center, University of Central Florida, Orlando

FLORIDA

Jamila El Sahili, I Love You
Health Center, University of Central Florida, Orlando

FLORIDA

Carrie Mae Weems, Continue to Dream
The Ringling Museum, Sarasota

FLORIDA

Shaun Leonardo, Trayvon Martin
W Tennessee St & Aster Lake Blvd, Tallahassee

GEORGIA

Awol Erizku, TITLE PENDING
I-85 & E 10th St, Atlanta

IDAHO

Emily Hanako Momohara, Family Incarceration: Never Again is Now
HWY 20 & E Gowen Rd, Boise

ILLINOIS

Paula Crown, Thoughts & Prayers
W Jackson Blvd & S Jefferson St, Chicago

ILLINOIS

Paula Crown, Thoughts & Prayers
E Illinois S & N State St, Chicago

ILLINOIS

Cheryl Pope, Lines Can’t Be Drawn In The Middle
Student Center East, University of Illinois Chicago, Chicago

ILLINOIS

Cheryl Pope, Lines Can’t Be Drawn In The Middle
University Hall, University of Illinois Chicago, Chicago

ILLINOIS

Wendy Ewald, Christian
W Eldorado St & N Fairview Ave, Decatur

ILLINOIS

Tomashi Jackson, Alteronce in Hannah (Oliver Brown, et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka, et al.)
Illinois St & North Street, Normal

INDIANA

Theaster Gates, Where Black Power Lives
Indiana Toll Rd & Calumet Ave, Gary

INDIANA

Jesse Williams, That’s All Folks!
Pendleton Pike & Geneva Ave, Indianapolis

IOWA

Four Freedoms, Four Freedoms
IA-28 & SW Leland Ave, Des Moines

KANSAS

Four Freedoms, Four Freedoms
KS-4 & SW Topeka Blvd, Topeka

KENTUCKY

Donald Moffett, Think Science
New Circle Rd & Georgetown St, Lexington

KENTUCKY

Ebony G. Patterson, untitled ( …he was 12)
167 W. Main Street, Lexington

KENTUCKY

Titus Kaphar, Behind the Myth of Benevolence
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Expy & Preston Hwy, Louisville

LOUISIANA

Four Freedoms, Four Freedoms
Hwy 90 & Seven Oaks Blvd, New Orleans

MAINE

Christopher Myers, Title Pending
Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockland

MARYLAND

Shinique Smith, TITLE PENDING
Health & Human Services Building, Coppin State University, Baltimore

MARYLAND

Shinique Smith, TITLE PENDING
Warwick Ave, Coppin State University, Baltimore

MARYLAND

Natalie White, Equal Means Equal
Mt Savage Rd NW & Homewood St NW, Cumberland

MASSACHUSETTS

David Birkin and Mariam Ghani, System Failure
Location Pending, Boston

MASSACHUSETTS

Vincent Valdez, Dream Baby Dream
MASS MoCA, North Adams

MASSACHUSETTS

Lorraine O’Grady, Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are
I-91 & Plainfield St, Springfield

MICHIGAN

Sam Durant, Poder
Location Pending, Detroit

MICHIGAN

Jamila El Sahili, Human Being
Lansing Rd & Pinch Hwy, Lansing

MINNESOTA

Michael Rakowitz, Ahlan Wa Sahlan
I-94 & Co Rd 186, St Paul

MISSISSIPPI

Jessica Ingram, Vote for Vernon Dahmer, 2018
Hwy 220 & Medgar Evers Blvd, Jackson

MISSOURI

Christine Sun Kim, Words Shape Reality
Hwy 54 & Jefferson Rd, Jefferson City

MISSOURI

Jeremy Dean, InDivisible
Hwy 35 & Terrace St, St. Louis

MISSOURI

Jeremy Dean, Hummer Stagecoach
Hwy 35 & Terrace St, St. Louis

MONTANA

Fred Tomaselli, I’ve Fallen
Hwy 15 & Pinecrest Rd, Helena

NEBRASKA

Jim Goldberg, It’s Mourning In America
Cornhusker Hwy & N 48th St, Lincoln

NEVADA

Cristina Velazquez, No Soy Tu Mamacita
W Charleston Blvd & S Decatur Blvd, Las Vegas

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Paola Mendoza and Kisha Bari, I Am A Child
N Main St & Ten Rod Rd, Rochester

NEW JERSEY

William Scott and David Byrne, Untitled
Bloomfield Ave & N 12th St, Newark

NEW JERSEY

Wangechi Mutu, Africa’s Out!
US Hwy 1 & Muirhead Ave, Trenton

NEW MEXICO

Richard Misrach, Romans 13:10
CanAM Hwy & El Suspiro Ct, Las Cruces

NEW YORK

Suzanne Lacy, ONE/US
Crosstown Connection & Albany St, Albany

NEW YORK

Carrie Mae Weems, One Choice
E Brighton Ave & Ainsley Dr, Syracuse

NEW YORK

Eric Gottesman, Where Do We Go From Here?
E Brighton Ave & Ainsley Dr, Syracuse

NEW YORK

Hank Willis Thomas, Us Is Them
E Brighton Ave & Ainsley Dr, Syracuse

NEW YORK

Lightwork, Be Strong And Do Not Betray Your Soul
E Brighton Ave & Ainsley Dr, Syracuse

NEW YORK

Zoe Buckman, Grab Em By The Ballots
E Brighton Ave & Ainsley Dr, Syracuse

NORTH CAROLINA

Stacey L. Kirby, Yo Soy Válida
Durham Fwy & Ellis Rd, Durham

NORTH CAROLINA

Jeffrey Gibson, THIS STORY HASN’T BEEN WRITTEN YET
I-95 & Red Oak Brattleboro Rd, Raleigh

NORTH CAROLINA

Muna Malik, Exodus 22:21
Auxillary Services Parking Lot 16, UNC Charlotte, Charlotte

NORTH CAROLINA

Travis Somerville, Nevermind, 2016
Bluford St. Campus Rec. Center, NC AT&T State University, Greensboro

NORTH CAROLINA

Travis Somerville, Nevermind, 2016
Laurel St and E. Market St, NC AT&T State University, Greensboro

NORTH DAKOTA

Prune Nourry, << River Man >>
Rotating through several billboards in the city, Fargo

OHIO

Emily Hanako Momohara, Child Imprisonment: Never Again is Now
I-75 & Vine St, Cincinnati

OHIO

Michelangelo Lovelace, Glory
Dublin Rd & Grandview Ave, Columbus

OKLAHOMA

Guerrilla Girls , Dear Boss, No Wonder You Don’t Pay Us A Living Wage
US 77 & NW 59th St, Oklahoma City

OKLAHOMA

Justin Brice Guariglia, We Are The Asteroid
I-40 & S May Ave, Oklahoma City

OREGON

Carrie Mae Weems, Title Pending
1219 SW Park Ave, Portland

OREGON

Trevor Paglen, Nov 6th, 2018
1219 SW Park Ave, Portland

OREGON

Emily Jacir, Translate Allah
Lancaster Dr SE & State St, Salem

PENNSYLVANIA

Mitch Epstein, The Common Air
I-83 & S Front St, Harrisburg

PENNSYLVANIA

Anonymous, Me Pardon Me
I-96 & Linden Ave, Philadelphia

PENNSYLVANIA

Anonymous, Pardon Me
I-95 & Linden Ave, Philadelphia

RHODE ISLAND

Tuan Nguyen, Not Spaceship Earth
I-95 & Concord St, Providence

SOUTH CAROLINA

Dustin Yellin, HERE COMES THE SEA…Anthropogenic Climate Change and the future of our species
St Andrews Rd & Piney Grove Rd, Columbia

SOUTH DAKOTA

Xaviera Simmons, Freedom Is Not Guaranteed (TBC)
8th Ave NE, Aberdeen

SOUTH DAKOTA

Xaviera Simmons, Freedom Is Not Guaranteed (TBC)
8th Ave NE & N Roosevelt St, Aberdeen

SOUTH DAKOTA

Sol Guy, We Are All Related
I-90 & Sidney Stage Rd, Pierre/Rapid City

TENNESSEE

Ahron Weiner, Buttheads
8th Street, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville

TENNESSEE

Ahron Weiner, Buttheads
West Ave & Hand Village Ave, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville

TENNESSEE

Sadie Barnette, Some Space
Gallatin Pike S & E Due W Ave, Nashville

TENNESSEE

Hank Willis Thomas, Love Over Rules
I-24 & Cowan St, Nashville

TEXAS

Alfredo Jaar, A Logo For America
N Interstate 35 Frontage Rd & Sonterra Blvd, Austin

UTAH

Richard Renaldi, Who Are We
S Shurtz Canyon Dr, Cedar City

Vermont
Luis Jacob, Land Acknowledgement

VCFA
East State and West Streets

VIRGINIA

Joy Sela, We Mirror
Hampton Roads Dorm, George Mason University, Fairfax

VIRGINIA

Joy Sela, We Mirror
Eastern Shore Dorm, George Mason University, Fairfax

VIRGINIA

EJI, TITLE PENDING
I-95 & Bellemeade Rd, Richmond

WASHINGTON

Wyatt Gallery, An Expensive Hoax
Martin Way E & Chehalis Western Trail, Olympia

WEST VIRGINIA

Sanford Biggers, Just Us
MacCorkle Ave SE & West Virginia Turnpike, Charleston

WISCONSIN

Gordon Parks, I Am You
Beltline Hwy & Marsh Rd, Madison

WYOMING

Paula Crown, Thoughts & Prayers
Interstate 80 Service Rd & E Pershing Blvd, Cheyenne

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