SAN ANTONIO – If you drive by one of the 18 Clear Channel Outdoor digital billboards around town this month, you may feel like you're driving right through a museum. Over the next three weeks, Clear Channel will give up some of its digital spots to showcase local artists and their works.
"It's a huge honor and it's a little nerve-racking and kind of crazy," said Veronica Ramirez Miller, one of the 40 artists who will have their work displayed along with contact information.
"It gives us the opportunity to have an open dialogue with the community and it's also a way to beautify the city," said Clear Channel Outdoor digital media specialist B.J. Stewart.
Stewart, an artist himself, came up with the idea as a way to showcase local talent.
"We kind of wanted to reach out and have a little art contest and maybe get some exposure to artists that otherwise would have a hard time getting stuff," Stewart said.
"As soon as I found out about this project, I called pretty much any artist friend I have or I know of," added Ramirez Miller. "Especially people like me, in my position, who are not known. Those are the ones that I was more excited about getting in touch with and getting more exposure."
A total of 79 artists submitted their work and over the next week, snapshots of their works will appear on the 18 billboards while the 40 winners will soon be displayed in full, along with their information. The original plan called for 10 winners but that changed quickly. "The artwork was so good that it was hard to just pick ten, so we extended it to 15 and then 15 turned into 40," said Stewart.
"I expect that this might launch me to another place," said Ramirez Miller. Veronica began painting just four years ago, without any formal training. Her work, "Mother's love," was painted for a family member. "To be able to see it up there and to be able to call them and tell them their painting is up on a billboard is just awesome."
If you can't slow down enough to enjoy all the artwork, the company will soon have photos of every piece on their Facebook page. I think it's wonderful for Clear Channel to do something like this to promote local art," said Ramirez Miller. "It shows that they really care about their city and I'm honored to be a part of it."