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Instead of targeted ads, these Tulsa billboards are bringing artwork to public places

Posted at 7:29 AM, Dec 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-10 08:44:01-05

TULSA, Okla. — Have you ever stopped to think what a billboard advertisement is trying to convey? From a banking service and food items to luxury fragrance products, there are thousands of targeted ads across the U.S. with one goal in mind - to sell you something.

However, another type of billboard is popping up in many cities with a different kind of message.

"One of the things when I was speaking with the curator about this project was how do we create something that can attract someone but involve curiosity instead of getting a direct message," says Edgar Fabian Frías, an artist with the Tulsa Artist Fellowship TAF).

Frías is part of the new Add Space project that brings artwork to public places in Tulsa. Frías' artwork called "Our Ancestors Speak Directly with Us" is part of three billboards that went up in November to display art instead of traditional advertising.

"I wanted to bring sacred beings from my people," describes Frías of the large and colorful image displayed in the Pearl District. Frías is a Mexican-American artist born in Los Angeles and currently living in Tulsa.

As part of TAF, Frías receives housing and a $20,000 stipend for one year to contribute artistic ideas to the community.

"The Tulsa Artist Fellowship was established by the George Kaiser Foundation in 2015 to support local and national arts workers, and a big part of our mission is to make Tulsa a more interesting, inclusive and creative place to live," says Abby Mashunkashey, the communications director of TAF.

She says the Add Space project is being funded by TAF. The billboards will be on display until the end of December, so you still have some time to check them out.

Here's information about the art and their location:

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