Zonkey Street doesn’t appear on any maps, but alumnus Ian Sands (BFA 1989 Illustration) is hoping it will become a new thruway for public, collaborative and interactive art. Sands, who is an art teacher at Apex High School in Apex, North Carolina, recently won a grant from United Artists to create a billboard that promotes art. Now Interstate 40 in NC (near mile marker 373 in Duplin County) sports a large roadside ad for his Zonkey Street project, which encourages anyone with a creative impulse to join up with kindred spirits and start making art.
The billboard directs people to zonkeystreet.com, which serves as a hub for Sands’ public art projects, including The Daily Critter, a downtown newspaper box that dispenses cartoonish critters instead of newsprint; a series of Post-It Note murals; and Lost & Found, which invites passersby to pick up “lost” artworks and accompany them back to a local arts center. And as for the curious name, Sands writes on his site: “A Zonkey is a hybrid, a cross between a zebra and a donkey. Two different animals come together and produce a unique offspring. It takes two or more people to collaborate or to interact. That’s why we believe the Zonkey is the prefect mascot for Zonkey Art.”
Image: Zonkey Street billboard, 2010; photo by Ian Sands.