“You are beautiful” billboards a part of global phenomenon

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Have you noticed billboards around Erie County like the one along Rt. 198 near Buffalo State College that reads “you are beautiful”?

As it turns out, it’s one of many billboards around Erie County that are part of a public art project from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

RELATED | Participants are being sought for the gallery’s next public art project. Details here

The art is the work of Matthew Hoffman, a Chicago-based artist and designer who created the campaign to create a positive dialogue in the community.

Hoffman began this work by scrawling “you are beautiful” on rusting trusses of an underpass in Chicago, and since then developed stickers saying the same. The phenomenon has spread across the globe.

As part of this project in WNY, stickers will later be distributed at various events and sites this fall in Erie County.

So far this year, the art gallery has introduced a few other works of public art, including “Shark Girl” at Canalside and a mural outside the downtown library made of painter’s tape.

This billboard campaign was made possible through a partnership with Lamar Advertising, which is putting the public art at 44 sites throughout Erie County over the next few months.

It’s estimated the message will be seen more than 16.5 million times by mid-December.

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