Art for the Masses

Austin hosts fine-art billboard competition.

Big Picture

Digital printing has certainly broadened fine art’s reach in the past decades, enabling the so-called “common man” to more easily acquire an artist’s creation. But, most would agree, stumbling across that artwork still requires some legwork, particularly for those consumers who don’t frequent art galleries or museums.

In Austin, Texas, however, the motoring citizenry will now have the opportunity to view 10 works of art on a daily basis. Reagan Outdoor Advertising ( has collaborated with the Austin Visual Arts Association and ABI Digital Solutions ( for the Austin Art Boards competition – a juried visual-arts contest that awards winning local artists with billboard space to display their work.

This year, the competition received 100 entries from artists throughout the Central Texas area, from which 10 winning artworks were chosen: Jill Bedgood’s Baseball Code; Donna Bland’s Cattle and Live Oaks with Austin Sunset; Chrys Grummert’s Untitled; Nancy Guevara’s Arriba Mi Gente; Carol Hayman’s Colca Hands; Becky Joye’s Today Might Be Your Lucky Day; Jack King’s Fluid Intelligence; Jenny Meyer’s Hang Town; Will Russell’s Cowboy; and Deborah Moss Willhite’s Dare to Dream. The artists’ winning artworks were then provided as digital files to ABI Digital Solutions, which regularly partners with Reagan Outdoor. ABI executed the output on its EFI Vutek 5330 printers, onto black-back 10.5-ounce vinyl. All output was completed in three days, and ABI then handed it back to Reagan for the installation work.

“It is always fun and exciting to work on a unique project like the Austin Art Boards. The whole idea for this competition is just great, and we are proud to be a part of it in some small way,” says Damon Henrichs, ABI Digital’s chief marketing manager.

In addition to the billboard displays, the work of the Austin Art Boards winners and honorable mentions were displayed at the Flatbed art gallery in Austin through early August. Reagan Outdoor also hosted an invite-only reception to honor the winners, and video interviews with the winning artists were posted online at

“This has been an exciting opportunity to bring together the extraordinary artistic talent across our community and put it on display for all of Austin to see and enjoy,” says Billy Reagan, president of Reagan Outdoor Advertising.

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