ArtPop 2017 Billboard Competition Winners Announced

Eight area artists, including one high school winner, to have their work featured on Adams Outdoor Advertising billboards in 2017

The region’s dynamic visual arts community is taking center stage in 2017 as eight area artists will have their work showcased to thousands of motorists each day as part of the 3rd-annual ArtPop Billboard Competition presented by Adams Outdoor Advertising and the nonprofit ArtsQuest. 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. 2 through the end of December 2017.

This year’s ArtPop competition featured a record number of submissions, with nearly 150 entries, double the number in 2015. Among the eight winners is Liberty High School junior Olivia Lunger, who impressed the six-member ArtPop jurying panel with her striking digital media work, Math Wiz. As the winner of the high school competition, Lunger will not only have her work on a billboard for all of 2017, she is also being awarded a $1,000 scholarship to a Kutztown University art program by the Kutztown University Foundation.

“Congratulations to Olivia and all the winners in this year’s competition,” says Dr. Kenneth S. Hawkinson, president of Kutztown University. “How wonderful it will be to drive on the highways and see the work of these artists displayed so prominently. I would especially like to thank ArtsQuest and Adams Outdoor Advertising for making this a possibility.”

As part of the ArtPop competition, the jurying panel also selected six artists ages 18 or older from the region to be featured on area billboards next year, with one of the billboards to be located in Berks County as part of the program’s expansion outside Lehigh and Northampton counties. The eighth winner, Michelle Neifert of Bethlehem, was chosen as the “People’s Choice Winner” through a public vote that ended Dec. 14.

“The success of ArtPop has been nothing short of phenomenal,” says Adams Outdoor Advertising General Manager Tony Cioffi. “This program has grown in each of its first three years, resulting in a record number of entries this year. The support of ArtsQuest, Kutztown University and, of course, the local artists who participate is helping to ensure this community outreach initiative will be an important part of our community for years to come.”

The complete list of ArtPop 2017 winners is:

Melissa Perhamus, Easton
Warmth Beyond the Hills – Acrylic

Susanna Parker, Bethlehem
Horizon – Mixed Media Digital Collage

Cathy O’Connor, Orefield
Orlando – Cut Mosaic

Keith Shepard, Easton
Midday Solace – Airbrushed Acrylic on Canvas

Michael Brolly, Bethlehem
Mother, Daughter – Turned Wood

Erin Anderson
, Riegelsville
Karen Looking – Oil on Copper

High School Competition:
Olivia Lunger, Liberty High School
Math Wiz – Digital Media

People’s Choice Winner:
Michelle Neifert, Bethlehem
New Year’s Day – Acrylic on Alumalite

Started by Wendy Hickey in Charlotte, N.C., ArtPop is designed to highlight local artists and the important roles they play in the community by showcasing their work through available billboard media space. The Lehigh Valley’s ArtPop program, now in its third year, is a partnership between Adams Outdoor Advertising of the Lehigh Valley, the national ArtPop, the nonprofit ArtsQuest and the Lehigh Valley’s arts community. Members of the ArtPop jurying panel were:

Stacie Brennan, Sr. Director of Visual Arts, ArtsQuest
Kristen Cook, Graphic Designer, Adams Outdoor Advertising
Louise Feder, Assistant Curator, James A. Michener Museum
Ann Marie Hayes-Hawkinson, First Lady of Kutztown University
Ann Lalik, Penn State Lehigh Valley, Art Galleries Director
Anthony Marraccini, Connexions Gallery, Curator and Manager

“Everyone was blown away by the variety and quality of the work that was submitted for the competition this year,” says Stacie Brennan, ArtsQuest Sr. Director of Visual Arts. “We appreciate the support of Adams, Kutztown University, the national ArtPop and our jurors, and we’re really looking forward to highlighting and promoting these talented artists from our region all of next year.”

For more information on the ArtPop program, please visit For details on the national ArtPop program, check out