The campaign, which is unveiled today (16 August), showcases specially commissioned portraits of leading artists by Rankin, and dominates every advertising space in the major shopping streets of six cities in the UK.
Planned and bought by IPM, Sky Arts Street Galleries has secured the space of every billboard, poster, bus stop, phone box and advertising space in the prime shopping streets of London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Liverpool and Edinburgh. In London, the campaign will dominate Tottenham Court Road.
Rankin has produced 16 images, exclusively for the campaign. Each photograph celebrates a different form of art represented by someone from that field.
Featured among the portraits are dancer Natasha Cudilla, who has performed at Sadler’s Wells; actress, model and painter Meredith Ostrom who has starred in the art films 'Boogie Woogie' and 'Factory Girl', and double bass player Ch-Chi Nwanoku, who was awarded an MBE in 2001 for services to music.
John Cassy, Sky Arts channel director, said: "Sky Arts Street Galleries is unlike anything we have ever done before. We want to encourage people to see art everywhere, even in the most unlikely of places."
Rankin said: "It’s the first time anyone has attempted an art takeover of six major cities, and I’m really excited to be a part of it. I hope it makes people think about the relationship between art and advertising; to stop, if just for a moment, and see something striking, different and beautiful."
The campaign is supported by digital activity and a behind-the-scenes documentary, 'Rankin: Sky Arts Street Galleries', which will broadcast on Sky Arts 1 HD and Sky Arts 2 HD tonight. The broadcaster is also inviting aspiring artists to enter their work into a competition, judged by Rankin, with the chance to have their work exhibited in the same spaces in 2011.