News & Events

<< Return to List

LGBT Artwork Selected for #LoveLansing Billboard Project

Date: November 01, 2017


Artist Paige Kowaleski helps put LGBT pride on display in Lansing community. 


LGBT Artwork Selected for #LoveLansing Billboard Project

When asked by the Arts Council of Greater Lansing, "What do you love about Lansing?" Paige Kowaleski said, "I love that I have a community where I feel loved and respected, no matter my gender identity or sexual orientation."

She creatively expressed these feelings by designing a piece of artwork to submit for a community billboard project the Arts Council began in August in collaboration with Adams Outdoor Advertising.

The #LoveLansing Billboard Project invites any Greater Lansing resident - people of all ages, backgrounds and artistic abilities - to submit artwork that centers on the #LoveLansing hashtag.

Once submitted, the artists' works goes before a panel for selection, and Adams will turn the chosen pieces into 10-foot by 30-foot billboards to be placed around the city when space is available.

"We asked people to show us what Lansing means to them, why it's important to them," said Elizabeth Kindinger, art director at Adams.

"Paige was the only submission representative of the LGBT community. It was so big and bold and beautiful," said Kindinger noting Lansing's growth in diversity and inclusivity in the last few decades.

"Not up until recently would you maybe have seen a piece like this. This piece being out in the community is really a statement of who we are and that's really important to project onto people," she said. "The Arts Council really stood behind her and pushed her to take that leap of faith."

As did Kowaleski's dad who told her about the contest.

"I haven't really done any artwork for a couple years, up to this point. Being a single parent and trying to find your way in the world makes it hard to focus on things outside of the big necessities. Mostly I would do drawings as gifts for my loved ones," she said.

When Kowaleski first came to the Lansing area in 2014, she experienced homelessness with her then two-year-old. She found help at the Siren Eaton Shelter, which serves domestic violence survivors and homeless families in Eaton County. It was there she met her girlfriend, Danielle Chauvin.

"There were a lot of good people who worked there and helped me overcome barriers to getting my own housing...We didn't start talking or dating until a year after I had moved out. We ran into each other at Spiral (Lansing's premier alternative LGBTQ nightclub) on New Year's Eve," she said.

Kowaleski said LGBT visibility is important to her.

"I don't see a lot of publicity about LGBT events, or places," she said. "I only know about Spiral from being 'in,' and Pride is the only event I ever see advertised. I felt creating a piece of art that could be in Lansing, making LGBT families more visible, would be important. It would show people about a huge part of Lansing, that they might not even know about. Even though I suspected it might make some people uncomfortable."

Kowaleski said she wasn't feeling particularly political when she created her piece.

"I was more concerned about how we treat each other. I'm so tired of people judging each other and dogging people for being different. People influence politics. You can say whatever you want in the Capitol building, but it won't mean a thing unless it is internalized," she said.

Inspired by the graffiti murals on the tall, brick walls in Lansin's Old Town, Kowaleski said she asked her Facebook friends to send her pictures of themselves with their significant others.

"I wanted all couples represented so I asked for boy/girl, two girls and two boys. It's important that we all respect each other's love. All love is important," she said. "I was really excited about the thought that my art would be seen by a huge number of people. Billboards are unmissable broadcasts that locals and visitors to Lansing would see. People would see my name and maybe I would have more opportunities to do art for people, or businesses. Also, my art had to have a greater meaning, a higher purpose - to open people's minds and eyes to the diverse communities around us."

Kowaleski has found peace through practicing her art.

"I am a survivor and live with anxiety disorder and PTSD," she said. "This affects my whole life, often leaving me debilitated and isolated. Art gives me something to focus on, apart from my feelings of anxiety. I am disappointed that this contest is over, because I found a great sense of purpose while I was working on my piece."

Since the contest ended, Kowaleski has become a member of the Arts Council.

"I am hoping to be involved with the projects and contests that they organize for community members. I would love to make connections with other artists and people working in the industry," she said. "I am hoping to open some doors to a career opportunity in graphic design."

The project will produce up to 40 billboards this fall. Kowaleski's billboard is set to stay up until Jan. 1. There will be a call for new artists to submit their work in mid-December.

Click here to see the artwork. 

<< Return to List

OAAA Announces Waze as a Tech Member


OAAA announced that Waze, the world’s largest crowdsourced navigation app, has joined the OAAA as a Tech Member, the 39th overall and 13th to join during 2018. OAAA Tech Members are any companies that provide technology and data services or products to the OOH advertising industry. [ read more ]

Posterscope Wins 2018 OOH Media Plan of the Year for FOX Sports FIFA World Cup


The 2018 Out of Home (OOH) Media Plan of the Year was awarded to Posterscope by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA). The OOH Media Plan Awards were presented in New York at The AD Club of New York’s 11th annual OOH: NOW Conference December 5, 2018. [ read more ]

How get-out-the-vote took over billboards in 2018


The call to vote is plastered across America. Artists, activists and brands have taken to the streets to get out the vote with visual representations meant to convey the importance of Tuesday's election. [ read more ]

Oakland Museum and artists bring civic engagement to billboards


The Oakland Museum of California is closed on this September morning, but outside art handlers are carrying pieces of a new installation up the loading dock, while bracing themselves in the breezy weather. Passersby observe curiously, while a security guard stands watch. [ read more ]

Kale growing on a billboard? Bayer erects eye catching signs following Monsanto acquisition


Area motorists may have noticed two unusual billboards lately — each devoid of words and featuring a green, leafy version of the Gateway Arch superimposed before the St. Louis skyline. [ read more ]

Why Hyperlocal Campaigns And OOH Are More Important Than Ever For Brands


With media saturation at an all-time high, CMOs and marketers need to constantly challenge their assumptions. This means seeking out new data to understand the customer journey. The reality is the effectiveness of digital, social, and mobile ads is on the decline. More than 30% of people are using ad blocking on their smartphones. Not to mention there are also fraud and other challenges. [ read more ]

Study links OOH advertising with increase in search and social media brand activity


A new study conducted by Rapport, the out-of-home arm of IPG Mediabrands, has drawn a direct connection between Out of Home advertising and greater trust in social media. [ read more ]

The Advance of Digital Billboards


On July 25, OAAA hosted a webinar for non-members, explaining how the trade association boosts sales and protects assets. Insider is posting a three-part series based on this webinar. In Part One, posted August 1, Myron Laible explained OAAA problem solving. In Part Two, Ken Klein describes the advance of digital billboards, and OAAA’s role. [ read more ]

The Next Hot Medium for Digital Startup: New York City Storefronts


Rising rents for brick-and-mortar locations and competition from online retailers have left many storefronts in New York City unoccupied for months at a time. One digital startup is looking to take advantage of that real estate for advertising. [ read more ]

Out of Context(ual) - How digital signage, billboards, and aerial banners dominate the 2018 Contextual OOH OBIE Award category


The 2018 OAAA OBIE Awards showcased the best of the best in out-of-home (OOH) advertising. August 2017's total solar eclipse was inspiration for two nods in the Contextual OOH category: Adams+Fairway's Bronze OBIE "Eclipse Live Feed" campaign and Maryland Science Center's finalist work, "Science Center Eclipse 2017 Digital Campaign." Billboards – both static and digital – reigned as this year's Contextual OOH application of choice, proving that in a world of ever-changing outdoor advertising, the tried and true OOH staple is still right at home. [ read more ]

OBIE Twitter Feed


The OBIE Awards @TheOBIEAwards • Dec 11

Does your #OOH Campaign Dazzle & Delight? The #OBIEAwards Call For Entry Deadline is extended. You have until Decem…


The OBIE Awards @TheOBIEAwards • Dec 10

The 2018 #OBIEAward Winner was @Spotify for their #2018Goals campaign. This year, we're on the hunt for a 2019 OBIE…


The OBIE Awards @TheOBIEAwards • Dec 2

RT @nfletcherOAAA: .@OUTFRONTMEDIAUS and #OOH industry honor the life of President George H.W. Bush with messsages across the country https…


The OBIE Awards @TheOBIEAwards • Nov 29

The might of your #OOH will be tested by these fearless judges - does your campaign have the creative strength to d…


The OBIE Awards @TheOBIEAwards • Nov 22

RT @nfletcherOAAA: Thanksgiving - From Chico, CA - We In #OOH Support Each Other

Order the 2017 OBIE Awards Book

The OBIE book is a lasting tribute to the most creative OOH campaigns of the past year. The book is a collection of all the Finalists, Silver OBIE, and Gold OBIE winners, complete with insights from the creative teams behind each campaign.

Order Now