25. Art Matters campaign with the Los Angeles Fund for Public Education by Barbara Kruger, 2012
Barbara Kruger is not unfamiliar with the vast audience of public artwork. Precedents for this type of work stretch back to 1983, beginning with her participation with the Public Art Fund in New York City to her contribution to the ongoing project Message to the Public on the Spectacolor Board in Times Square. In 1991, she created a bus shelter poster series. Kruger also carried out a similar project in 1997 in New York City, similar to her 2012 Art Matters project in Los Angeles, but the subject matter was totally different in nature. This project goes straight to the core of an issue close to Kruger's heart: arts education. The UCLA professor has been quoted as saying "The place of the arts in the classroom is essential in encouraging invention, ambition, and an understanding of the importance and pleasures of living an examined life." Kruger's confrontational phrases address Los Angeles' public head on, asking them to among other things, to "SUPPORT PUBLIC EDUCATION OR FACE CATASTROPHE."