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April 23: Carnegie Mellon School of Art Students' Work Goes Public On Seven Pittsburgh Billboards


Eric Sloss                     

Carnegie Mellon School of Art Students' Work
Goes Public On Seven Pittsburgh Billboards

billboardPITTSBURGH—Seven new public artworks, created by a group of undergraduate and graduate students in Carnegie Mellon University's School of Art, will be displayed on various billboards around the Pittsburgh region in April. Eric Shiner, the Milton Fine Curator of Art at the Andy Warhol Museum, selected the seven billboard designs.
Lamar Outdoor Advertising has generously provided this non-traditional venue for student work to be recognized, studied and critiqued by thousands of viewers. The students selected are Agnes Bolt, A.C. Harkness, Riley Harmon, Christie Lau, Lara Mann, Alissa Osial and Rob Southard.
Bolt's "everything and nothing" examines our abilities to process advertising and information at the rate it comes to us. With "MY BAD," Harkness considers the meaning of a popular expression. Harmon's "Billboard Simulation" confronts copy-paste experiences with user interfaces. Lau's "You Hive Reshare Dust Innate Shone" can be deciphered only by repeating the words. With "Luck Is For Those Who Believe," Mann reflects on the small details of life. Osial's "Welcome to Pittsburgh" gives passers-by a lesson in Pittsburghese, and Southard's "Happy National Louis Braille Awareness Month" aims to play with the billboard's role as an advertisement when language becomes indecipherable.
The public art project is a collaborative effort that was established in 2007 between Lamar Outdoor Advertising and Christopher Sperandio, the former Jill Kraus Visiting Assistant Professor of Art at Carnegie Mellon. This year Andrew Ellis Johnson, associate professor of art, is coordinating the billboard project. For information, visit


Pictured above is a billboard design by Riley Harmon (A '12).