Let the fourth year of ArtPop begin! The Arts & Science Council just announced the 20 regional artists selected for the program, which displays artwork on available Charlotte-area billboard space.

The program was launched in 2014 by ArtPop founder Wendy Hickey, ASC and Adams Outdoor Advertising. ArtPop has expanded to 11 cities with the aim of promoting the work of local artists through available media space.

The selected artworks for this next Charlotte installation will start popping up on billboards the week of Jan. 9, which means you’ll see the works rotating around the city when space is available on Adams’ billboards throughout the year. Just look skyward.

But keep your eyes on the road, too. At the reveal party Tuesday night I asked artist Micah Cash if it’s unfortunate that the artwork is displayed for passersby, instead of an audience that can stand still and take in the work, as in a gallery.

“That’s just the way it is, those are the limitations of it,” said Cash, whose painting “Kentucky” will be added to the sky via billboard next year. “I can remember all of the really good ads that I’ve seen over my life on billboards. I can remember the bad ones. … Having it in major locations on interstates allows people to drive by something multiple times and if they really like it, they’re going to remember it.”

Micah Cash
“Kentucky,” Micah Cash

Hickey said she wanted to bring local artists and community together through her program. “I also want it to be, when you’re in your car and there’s a lot of traffic, and you’re in a bad mood, that you’re inspired because you saw artwork,” she said.

For the 2017 program, 15 artists were chosen by a jury of local arts and design experts. And the winners are:

– Micah Cash (oil on canvas)
– Justin Christenbery (acrylic painting on canvas)
– Mark Doepker (Prismacolor (colored pencil))
– Itala Flores (drywall pottery)
– Joanna Henry (collage)
– Gerry Kingl (photography)
– Aaron Moore (collage)
– Quoctrung Nguyen (ink and acrylic on paper)
– Scott Partridge (digital art)
– Diane Pike (oil on canvas)
– Theron Ross (forged iron)
– Caroline Rust (oil on canvas)
– Ju-Ian Shen (ceramic art)
– Nicholas Sorlien (cast concrete)
– Bryan Wilson (oil painting)

Billboard replica at the ArtPop 2017 Reveal Party
Billboard replica at the ArtPop 2017 Reveal Party

Five more artists were selected by public vote. They are:

– Renee Calder (ceramic/metal)
– Joshua Cross (mixed media painting)
– Kimberly Hanson (mixed media – acrylic, collage; see featured photo)
– Kathie Roig (fiber/handweaving)
– Annemarie Weekley (wood relief print with gold leaf)

There you have it. So much to look forward to — and up to — in the New Year.

Images: Kimberly Hanson, Micah Cash

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