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A former San Diego local has a unique plan for commercial billboards: filling them with art, rather than advertisement.

Nathan Horner, who lives in Hollywood but attended art school in San Diego and lived in the area for several years, has launched a Kickstarter campaign seeking $15,000. The money would cover $2000 to create an enlarged print of a painting of the Old Point Loma Lighthouse done by Horner in 2001, another $13,000 would rent a billboard near the intersection of the I-5 and I-8 freeways to showcase the painting for a month.

“I have always felt that the visual space of billboards would be a great way to enrich a community with art, rather than constant images to purchase and consume,” says Horner, who works at Imagic, a large-format printing company that produces artwork for billboards, and who he intends to commission to recreate his work.

“This year is the centennial year for The Old Point Loma Lighthouse, recognizing 100 years of stewardship,” Horner continues. He says he’s long thought about a billboards-as-art project, but the costs deterred him until a friend turned him on to “crowdsourcing” sites such as Kickstarter. Horner says he wants to “share the painting on the grandest scale, in the arena where it will be most appreciated. This seems like the perfect and appropiate time.”

A portion of the billboard would also credit Horner as the artist and advertise his website.

“I originally only wanted the painting on the billboard, but there are no billboards the proper proportions and I did not want to crop or add to the original composition of the painting.”

As of Sunday afternoon (August 18), the campaign had raised $175 in pledges from three potential donors. Horner has given himself until October 11 to raise funding, and if successful intends to install the work in December, or as soon as the billboard he’s selected is available.

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Javajoe25 Aug. 19, 2013 @ 10:38 a.m.

This is a great idea! What a pleasant change of pace it would be to see some art on a billboard instead of the usual commercial smutterings. The Point Loma lighthouse is as much an icon of San Diego as the Balboa Park Tower. I would suggest you ask the billboard company to kick in a bit too and perhaps make some adjustment on the price. It could turn out to be an excellent business decision as this idea spreads.


Debbie Allen Aug. 19, 2013 @ 4:18 p.m.

From experience I know that you do NOT need $13,000. If you are willing to wait for a "remnant"... a month period that is between longer leases, you can get in for half that much.... easily.

However, I do love the idea. It would be beautiful to drive by this painting since the lighthouse has personal meaning for me. My great-great grandfather was a lighthouse keeper at Ballast Point beginning in 1908.


Nathan_Horner Aug. 19, 2013 @ 6:55 p.m.

Obviously Debbie, you did not call San Diego CBS Outdoor to inquire or confirm my quote for that billboard space availability and rental for a month. I am even being offered a deal. I am not profiting off of this project.


Nathan_Horner Aug. 23, 2013 @ 10:29 p.m.

For one large enabling sponsorship, or pledge to this project, I would be willing to minimize the recognition of the artist and replace it with a text layout acknowledging the Lighthouse centennial and also a small logo or recognition of the backer. They would also get an original painting by the artist. As for now the billboard layout, as is, is a tasteful salute to the lighthouse that coincides with the other centennial events. For a month, it will add to the community a unique beauty inspired by the Lighthouse from a living artist.

I just wish to share the painting on the grandest scale, in the arena where it will be most appreciated. This seems like the perfect and appropiate time. The message is in the brushstrokes, and execution of the painting, the original inspiration to paint it in the first place. Anyone who has been there understands that. I hope to bring attention to the Lighthouse during its cenntennial celebration and inspire an appreciation to preserve the Lighthouse, for future generations to find inspiration there as I did.


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