Posts Tagged ‘billboard’

Image: Brittani Sensabaugh
Billboard at 66th and International, East Oakland, California.

The billboards that photographer Brittani Sensabaugh has been putting up in East Oakland, California, are specifically intended for people in the neighborhood, generally people of color. But they are such positive images, I think they speak to us all.

Sarah Medina writes at 7×7, ” ‘Loving yourself unconditionally and eating healthy is a revolutionary act — especially where I come from.’

“That’s the message behind a host of new billboards that have been popping up around the West and East Oakland neighborhoods. Brittani Sensabaugh, 27, an East Oakland photographer, has made it her mission to document America’s most dangerous neighborhoods. The project began when Sensabaugh noticed the prolific negativity behind the advertising in the East Bay’s poorest districts, where signs sell cigarettes, HIV testing and ‘ugly homes for cheap.

” ‘Not only do we not have access to healthy habits in these communities, but there’s no advertising telling us how to access a healthier lifestyle. We need to see uplifting, positive imagery in our communities,’ explains the young photographer. …

“Rather than be associated with a large name brand, Sensabaugh decided to pay for all the billboards herself and reach out to minority-owned businesses to help her spread her uplifting message.

“Mandela Marketplace, a non-profit organization that works to build health and wealth in low-income communities of color, was her first ally, and a collaboration with Yoga Love, an African American-owned yoga studio in North Oakland, is in the works [as of November 2016]. ‘That way the money stays within the community,’ Sensabaugh explains.

“The results are inspirational billboards that stretch from the corner of 73rd and International in East Oakland to the West Oakland BART station. And while the missives are different on each board, their meaning is constant: Love yourself. Heal yourself. Love is greater than fear.

” ‘The reaction has been powerful,’ says Sensabaugh. ‘I’ve had women cry when I show them the billboards. They’ve never seen our people looking so wonderful.’ …

“See more of Sensabaugh’s work and contribute to her billboard campaign at brittsense.com.”

More at 7×7, here.

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I’m not much of a world traveler although I always enjoy new places once I get there. I feel sufficiently challenged, though, just trying to see what is in front of me and delving into meanings.

I overheard two men who were walking in a shade-dappled lane this morning. They were discussing “operations” and the “lowest cost per month” and were consulting a smartphone. I’m not sure they saw much in front of them.

Not to be superior, I miss things, too. How many times have I come up out of the Porter Square subway station to cross the street and not noticed the bollards with the mysterious carvings? I’ve pasted three samples below.

A few more photos. Two sides of an especially nice paint job on the Painted Rock. A whole family brought their beach chairs and drinks to watch the artists among them paint the sunset, boats, and sea creatures and then photograph the art before someone painted over it with new messages. Which happened in a couple hours and involved much less style. But that’s OK — the rock is the billboard of pure democracy.

On another rock, one I had never noticed until early Saturday, please note directions to China.

Circling back to the “lowest cost” guys, when I got to the bend in the lane, they were gone. I was walking so much slower than they were.






































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It’s not a completely new idea to put personal messages on a billboard, but I thought this iteration was especially fun.

Chris Pleasance writes at the Daily Mail, “With modern advertising boards showing video clips, messaging passersby and even interacting with viewers, it is difficult for a classic billboard to stand out.

“However, one board in Pennsylvania has been attracting attention after displaying odd slogans and messages as part of an art project.

“Jon Rubin, 50, and fellow academic Pablo Garcia contact an artist each month and ask them to write a message for their billboard, which is then displayed using heavy wooden letters.

“The notes, which have ranged from witty remarks to short poems and even two phone numbers, then stay up for a month before being replaced.

“One artist wrote the word ‘Poem’ in front of his phone number, then read verse to anyone who called or listened to poems they wanted to read to him. …

“While most of the submissions come by direct invitation from Jon or Pablo, they do occasionally take ideas via email, or directly from the internet.

“One of the most bizarre came from an 11-year-old girl who wrote: ‘Ideas for my new blog: Who invented tape, how were feelings discovered, when did “skinny” become fashionable?’ “

I especially like this one: “Think about all the hours forgotten plays were rehearsed.” I like it because I know it doesn’t matter that the plays are forgotten. It’s the rehearsing that counts.

More here.

Photo: Splash
Message by Charlie Humphrey

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