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April 17: Carnegie Mellon School of Art Students Display Artwork on Local Billboards for Third Consecutive Year


Eric Sloss                         

Carnegie Mellon School of Art Students Display Artwork
On Local Billboards for Third Consecutive Year

billboardsPITTSBURGH—Eight new public artworks will be on display through April on various billboards in Pittsburgh as a result of a collaboration between Carnegie Mellon University's School of Art and Lamar Outdoor Advertising. The 11' by 24' billboards reflect on universal, yet locally relevant themes including friendship, war, memory, nature and illness.
Andrew Ellis Johnson and Ayanah Moor, associate professors of art, organized this year's initiative. Juried by curator, author and critic Vicky A. Clark, the works selected were created by undergraduate and graduate students Seth Boyles, Meaghan Callen, David Kennedy, Julia Kennedy, Amanda Long, Leslie McAhren, Haydee Naula and James Southard.
"The students are very excited having their artwork available to the Pittsburgh community free of charge and lit up at night," Johnson said. "I'm delighted by these billboards, they are rich and varied, from the visually spectacular to the exuberantly humorous, to the provocative imaginary. All of the selections this year are clear but multilayered works that can be perceived in a moment but contemplated indefinitely."
This is the third consecutive year of an ambitious art project that began in 2007 when Carnegie Mellon Visiting Professor of Art Christopher Sperandio contacted Lamar Outdoor Advertising about using billboards as a way to train students in creating new graphic artwork for a general public. The project is part of the School of Art's contextual practice curriculum, giving students the opportunity to create artwork that engages and interacts with the local Pittsburgh community. For more information on the billboards or the artists, including a map of billboard locations, visit


Pictured above is the "Happy Birthday" billboard by Leslie McAhren, located at Arlington Ave. and E. Carson St.