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Artists transform Corona billboard into 24-hour art project

A group of artists has seized control of – dare we say “occupied”- an electronic billboard along Interstate 15 in Corona. They’re transformed it into a 24-hour art experiment.

You can spot the billboard as you speed south along Interstate 15, just before the Ontario Avenue off-ramp. Or exit the freeway, hook a right on Compton Avenue and pull into the Marriott Hotel parking lot. The billboard is only about 20 yards from the edge of the freeway.

That’s where we find David Morrison, the director of the Virginia-based Billboard Art Project

“What is the mission?" asked David Morrison, director of the Virginia-based Billboard Art Project. "Take a space that’s normally used for corporate advertising and humanize it, turn it into something non commercial, something beautiful."

About 95 artists and photographers contributed to the rotating merry-go-round of images that flash across the billboard. Some images stay for as little as a few seconds, while others hover for several minutes. Some creations lampoon advertising... some riff on pop culture or politics.

Most simply revel in art for art’s sake.

One such artist, Michele Guieu from Northern California, decided to riff on the fact that the billboard is, essentially, a sign. Her installation takes the form of a "Miles To" highway marker-- but with a city picked at random from the Arab Spring. The number of "miles to" uses the billboard's exact location.

From here, to Damascus. From here, to Tahrir Square.

“I was thinking about something in relation with what people would see on the road in a normal, regular basis," Guieu explained. "I thought it was at the same time political and poetical.”

You have until midnight Friday to view the Billboard Art Project. It can be spotted from the southbound lanes of Interstate 15 in Corona just before the Ontario Avenue exit. Or better yet, from the parking lot of the Marriott Hotel on Compton Avenue.

After the Billboard Art Project’s 24-hour flash in Corona, David Morrison plans to assemble another group of artists and transform other electronic billboards across the United States.