“Your Art Here” billboard gets some TLC

On Thursday afternoon, Max E. Smith spread out his tools on top of a nearby trash bin, getting ready to work. He’d come to secure the edges of the “refugees welcome” banner, which gusts of wind had pulled from its frame.

refugees welcome banner
“Your Art Here” billboard at Sixth & Walnut.

The banner, affixed to the building at the northeast corner of Sixth and Walnut, is the latest in a rotating display at that location, curated by Your Art Here.

This month features the work of French artist Claire Fontaine. The bold cursive letters on the banner are outlined subtly with numbers and red arrows to indicate how each letter is written.

The previous display was a painting of the endangered Vaquitas, by former Bloomington resident Marius Mason.

According to the group’s website, Bloomington-based Your Art Here was founded in 2002. It’s a nonprofit public art organization “created to provide local communities with an opportunity to engage in visual, public dialogue through the use of billboards and other public spaces.”

max e smith
Max E. Smith

The “refugees welcome” banner will remain up through January.

Smith – who also serves on the board of the local nonprofit New Leaf, New Life – didn’t yet know what would replace it.

The best way to keep track of their work is by keeping your eyes open when you pass by that corner. Otherwise, check the Your Art Here account on Instagram. (The group also has a presence on Twitter and Facebook, but those accounts and their website appear to be infrequently updated.)