"Invisible" Billboards To Induce Double-Takes in Houston

Karyn Olivier, visiting artist at the University of Houston's Mitchell Center for the Arts, is doing what lots of Houstonians wish they could -- erasing billboards. Actually, for her exhibit "Inbound: Houston," she's replacing the images on more than a dozen billboards around the city with life-size images of what's behind the billboard, sky, trees, buildings, and homes. (Take a second look at the photo above and you'll see what we mean.)

Karen Farber, director of the Mitchell Center, says through press materials, "We are thrilled to present this wholly original event in Houston. Karyn Olivier will bring a totally new experience to our daily trips on Houston's freeways. What is invisible will become visible, and vice versa."

Of course, lighting conditions and weather will make the images blend into the skyline to varying degrees, something Olivier says she's looking forward to. "I want to see how each change affects the way people understand the pictures when the landscape is no longer the same as it is in the image," she says.

During her residency, Olivier will be working with UH students to produce associated projects in the community, including a concert with UH Moores School composers Paul Wadle and Joel Love.

Meet Olivier and view photos of the billboards during an opening reception for "Inbound: Houston" at 6 p.m. on Monday, October 26. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway. For information, including billboard locations, visit karynolivier.blogspot.com or www.mitchellcenterforarts.org. Free.

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