Billboard Buddies

Mobile Art + Action Community Lab

2020 — Built

Architectural Design; Exhibit Design

Billboard Buddies is a family of versatile exhibit display units, designed to be deployed in indoor and outdoor public spaces for pop-up and semi-permanent exhibitions for the Art + Action Lab, an outreach program for the School of the Arts at Indiana University Northwest (IUN). Each unit is assembled with interchangeable “hats” that provide shade and identity, and “feet” that provide stability and bench seating. Each exhibit unit type is named to invite personal interaction. For instance, Lily is a pop-up gallery wall, eager to make eye contact with public art-goers. Shameika is a cabinet of curiosities, with lips puckering affectionately when you open her doors. Pinky is a roving table, ready to offer food for a picnic or serve as a pedestal for sculptural work. Tyrone is a canopied countertop, with intimate shelves for showing off artifacts and artisan goods.

In Fall 2020, Billboard Buddies ventured on tour around Northwest Indiana to create social-distanced, interactive cultural programming and pop-up exhibits in public parking lots in the cities of Gary, Hobart, and Hammond. During the winter and spring 2021, the Billboard Buddies wandered indoors to activate the interiors of campus buildings at IUN, the Chesterton Art Center, and the South Shore Cultural Center.

Fabrication: Stolatis Fabrication
Photography: Lauren M. Pacheco, Kelly Knaga