Exciting mediums like hand-cut stained glass, fiber art and botanical pressed flowers highlight the 12 winning works in the 5th annual ArtPop Billboard Competition presented by ArtPop Street Gallery, Adams Outdoor Advertising, Pocono Arts Council, ArtsQuest, and Kutztown University. The winning artists, selected via a juried competition, will have their work displayed on Adams Outdoor Advertising billboards on major thoroughfares in the region from the week of Jan. 7 through the end of Dec. 2019.
This year’s ArtPop competition expanded to an 11-county region, open to artists residing in Berks, Bucks, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Pike, and Wayne counties in Pennsylvania, as well as Warren County in New Jersey. More than 170 entries were received for the competition.
Among the 12 winners is Hannah Hess of Nazareth Area High School who impressed the judges with her dynamic acrylic work on Masonite depicting a girl “Submerged” in water. Hess will not only have her work on a billboard for all of 2019, she will also be awarded a cash prize of $500 and a $2,500 scholarship to a Kutztown University art program by the Kutztown University Foundation.
“Billboards are a great way to be seen and heard, so Adams is proud to use that visibility to bring attention to the talented artists across the Eastern Pennsylvania region,” says Adams Outdoor Advertising General Sales Manager Jeffrey Chandler. We owe so much to the local art community for providing us with inspiration, culture, and for producing the skilled designers and illustrators that make up our creative teams in all of our markets across the nation.”
In addition to the scholastic winner, the official jurying panel selected 10 artists ages 18 or older to be featured on area billboards next year. The twelfth winner, Joe Edelman of Allentown, was chosen as the “People’s Choice Winner” through a public vote that ended Nov. 17. More than 4,600 people voted in the competition this year.
“The original idea for an artist billboard competition came to me when I was working in the Poconos in the early 2000s,” says ArtPop Street Gallery Founder and Executive Director Wendy Hickey. “We returned officially as ArtPop in 2015 to the Lehigh Valley and in 2016 in the Poconos, so the merging of these two markets in 2019 provides an incredible opportunity for the region’s artists to have a voice in a much larger, 11-county area.
“I’m also proud to note that we now have husband-and-wife ArtPop Street Gallery artists from #ArtPopEasternPA. We’ve had more than 290 artists featured on billboards from North Carolina to Las Vegas and this is a first. Our 2015 ArtPop Street Gallery artist Michael Hess is married to 2019 ArtPop Street Gallery artist Dana Hess. Congratulations to them and to all of the 2019 ArtPop Eastern Pennsylvania winners.”
At the event Sue Randall, executive director of the Pocono Arts Council, paid special thanks to Stroudsmoor Country Inn for providing the reception venue. “Linda Forte is a wonderful community partner and has been involved since Wendy initiated the program. We are pleased to invite our Lehigh Valley guests to enjoy the Poconos. Many artists ask, ‘How do I get on that billboard?’ With 170 submissions this year, I am honored to be a judge and happy that ArtPop Alumni were involved in this year’s judging. Congratulations to all the winners.”
ArtPop winners from the Pocono Arts Council’s five-county service area include James Chesnick, Marlana Holsten, and Lucille Norella.
ArtPop 2019 Winners:
- Amy Alessi, Mount Bethel, Colours of the Highlands – watercolor, pen and ink
- John Cheer, Allentown, Beauty and Wonder – stoneware clay, porcelain clay and glass
- James Chesnick, Stroudsburg, Pulse Reaction – acrylic
- Dana Hess, Allentown, Blessed – hand-cut stained glass, art glass and mosaic tile
- Marlana Holsten, Shawnee on Delaware, Poetry in Motion – photography
- Jon Montenegro, Allentown, Sleeping Misty – digital art
- Lucille Norella, Waymart, Flower Garden – botanical pressed flower art
- Lee Riley, Bethlehem, Wandering – glass and oil on wood
- Craig Werkheiser, Bethlehem, The Snow Leopard Trio – pastels
- Mallory Zondag, Bethlehem, Growth No. 4 – wool, silk and cotton
High School Competition:
- Hannah Hess, Nazareth Area High Schoo, Submerged – Acrylic on Masonite
People’s Choice Winner:
- Joe Edelman, Allentown, Blue – digital photography