The New York Times has covered the idea of artists using storefronts throughout the year. Here is a recent article.
An excerpt from the piece,
"No one likes empty storefronts; they make streets look like gap-toothed smiles. Now that San Francisco’s business districts are feeling the economic pinch, city officials, like dentists, have been scouting for ways to fix the cavities. Whether business picks up next year remains to be seen, but in the meantime, civic leaders and neighborhood associations have turned to artists for a temporary solution." –Chloe Veltman