A Campaign to Dot the American South With Artist-Designed Billboards Wraps in LA

The Los Angeles Nomadic Division's 'Manifest Destiny Billboard Project' closes with celebration in Los Angeles.

John Baldessari
John Baldessari’s Chapter 5: Love and Work scattered throughout San Antonio, Texas. (September 26-October 2015). (Photo: Jennifer Siu-Rivera)

Go West? This ambitious art project did.

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The Los Angeles Nomadic Division’s Manifest Destiny Billboard Project has reached its final destination in Los Angeles after a 2,722-mile journey west from Fort Lauderdale. The project’s series of 100 billboards began in the fall of 2013 and now spans eight southern states along the Interstate 10 Freeway. Conceived by artist Zoe Crosher, and co-curated by LAND director Shamim M. Momin (a former top Whitney Museum curator), the project comes to a close next week in Los Angeles.

Manifest Destiny is comprised of billboards by ten artists, including John Baldessari, Sanford Biggers, and Eve Fowler. Each artist was invited to create a “chapter” of ten billboards each based on the project’s larger theme of America’s historical campaign for territorial expansion westward. Every artist had a different interpretation of the theme: where Ms. Crosher depicted the disintegration of the American Dream with dying greenery, Mr. Baldessari explored the shared struggle to balance work and happiness through a photo collage of a man relaxing in a hammock. Matthew Brannon designed the closing chapter billboards, which can be seen at this weekend’s culminating events.

Zoe Croshner
Zoe Crosher’s Chapter 9: La-Like: Shangri’La’d scattered throughout Palm Springs, CA (April 3-June 2015). (Photo: Courtesy of Los Angeles Nomadic Division)

From June 24 through 28, LAND will celebrate the exhibition’s finale with an extravaganza in Los Angeles. Events include an exhibition of the billboards, film screenings, artwork-inspired perfume-making workshops, food tours of L.A.’s Grand Central Market, a panel hosted by Sotheby’s with participating artists Shana Lutker, Jeremy Shaw, Daniel R. Small, and Mario Ybarra Jr., and a pop-up shop at Ace Hotel Downtown L.A.

Here’s a complete listing of The Manifest Destiny Billboard Project events.

A Campaign to Dot the American South With Artist-Designed Billboards Wraps in LA