Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January Challenge- Used Billboards

Each month I am taking on the challenge of finding a waste material to use as my creative medium.  During the month of January, I am creating with used billboards.  Meadow Outdoor Advertising, located in The Dalles, Oregon, is where I was able to find the used billboards.  Once the billboards are taken down, Meadow passes the used billboards along to people who have contacted them to pick one up.  Many farmers use them to cover their crops or hay.  My father-in-law is using one to keep his wood pile dry.

Billboards are one of those products that we think little about.  We see them on the side of the highway advertising what is to be found at the next exit, but how many of you have stopped to think about what they are are made of and what happens when they are taken down.  These large tarps are made from a thick vinyl material, not paper like many of us may assume.  This makes sense since they are exposed to the elements for months at a time.  They need to be hardy enough to endure the changing weather.  When I picked up the three billboards that were saved for me,  I so surprised at how heavy they were.  Once I took them home and spread them out to see their size, I was also blown away by how enormous they were.  I had to unfold them in outside and they took up most of the open space in my backyard. 

The idea for the challenge is to create with this the used billboards during the month of January, and post pictures of what I created at the end of the month.  The Columbia Art Center in Hood River has offered to host the collection of projects that were made during the First Friday Art Walk each month in Hood River.  I am asking friends, artists and my readers to join in this challenge with me each month.  You can submit a project by sending me a picture of what you made or bring it to the Columbia Art Center on February 2nd from noon-1pm where you can also pick up the next month's challenge material, used cassette tapes and VCR tapes.

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