Two ArtPop Pennsylvania Programs Unite to Celebrate Artist Billboard Competition’s 5th Year in Keystone State

Competition, open to artists in 11 counties, adds cash scholarship award for high school winner; Kutztown University also offering $2,500 scholarship

BETHLEHEM, PA—As ArtPop prepares to kick off its fifth year, the billboard competition’s two Pennsylvania programs are joining together to strengthen and expand the popular public art initiative, opening the competition to an 11-county region and adding in a $500 cash scholarship for the winner of the ArtPop high school competition. In addition, Kutztown University is offering a $2,500 scholarship if the winning high school student enrolls in a Kutztown University degree program. Entries for the annual artist competition, which features works shown on Adams Outdoor Advertising billboards throughout the region, will be accepted Sept. 21-Nov. 9.

Launched in 2014, ArtPop is a public art initiative that showcases the work of area artists on Adams billboards for an entire year. For the past several years, Adams has partnered with the ArtPop Street Gallery, Pocono Arts Council and ArtsQuest’s Banana Factory Arts Center to offer two different ArtPop competitions – one in the Poconos and another in the Lehigh Valley. Starting this year, all of the partners will join together for “ArtPop Eastern Pennsylvania,” open to artists from suburban Philadelphia to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton region.

“ArtPop has been very well received by both the arts community and the public since its inception, with the program’s footprint and the number of participating artists growing with each passing year,” says Adams Outdoor Advertising General Manager Tony Cioffi. “With Adams Outdoor Advertising joining our two Eastern Pennsylvania offices in early October, this is the ideal time to bring all of the ArtPop partners together into one dynamic public art initiative that has widespread appeal and impact.

“Eastern Pennsylvania is home to a diverse array of talented artists and we are excited to showcase just a few of them through this competition. We’re also thrilled to provide our first cash scholarship, good for any college or university, to the high school student who wins our scholastic competition and honored that the Kutztown University Foundation has increased its scholarship money available to students.”

Kutztown University Foundation Executive Director Alex Ogeka says the university has a history steeped in the arts and is proud to continue its support of ArtPop, which directly relates to the objectives of the recently established Kutztown University Arts Society. “Since arriving at Kutztown University, University President Dr. Kenneth Hawkinson has made it a primary goal to advance and support the visual and performing arts for not only the university but the local community as a whole,” says Ogeka.

With ArtPop, artists are invited to submit works of art to be considered for one of 12 Adams billboards throughout the region. Eleven artists, including the high school competition winner, are selected by the official ArtPop jurying committee, while the final winner is chosen via a public vote. The 2019 ArtPop competition is open to artists residing in Berks, Bucks, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Pike and Wayne counties in Pennsylvania, as well as Warren County in New Jersey.

All ArtPop winners, with the exception of the People’s Choice Winner, will be selected by the ArtPop jurying panel in early November. From Nov. 13-16, the public can vote online at for its favorite work for the People’s Choice Winner. All winners will then be announced Dec. 13, 5:30 p.m., at the Stroudsmoor Country Inn in Stroudsburg.

“The feedback I’ve been receiving about the new ArtPop format is overwhelmingly positive,” says Susan Randall, Executive Director of the Pocono Arts Council. “Thanks to the generosity of Adams Outdoor Advertising, ArtPop has widened the audience and local art is now able to be shared across much of Eastern Pennsylvania.

“The Pocono region is the proud birthplace for this program, with the original concept for ArtPop evolving out of a program we partnered with ArtPop Founder Wendy Hickey on when she was with Adams Outdoor Advertising 2002. Our board of directors, staff and members of the Pocono Arts Council are pleased to watch ArtPop bloom and grow. We are also excited about hosting the artists’ reception at Stroudsmoor Country Inn in Stroudsburg – the place where it all began!”

Jurors for this year’s ArtPop competition are:
– Nichole Smith, Graphic Designer, Adams Outdoor Advertising
– Wendy Hickey, Executive Director, ArtPop Street Gallery
– Stacie Brennan, Senior Director of Visual Arts, ArtsQuest
– Susan Randall, Executive Director, Pocono Arts Council
– Erin Anderson, ArtPop Lehigh Valley Class of 2017
– Judith Moeller, ArtPop Pocono Class of 2017
– Theo Anderson, ArtPop Lehigh Valley Class of 2015
– Jason Williamson, ArtPop Pocono Class of 2017

Artists interested in participating in the ArtPop competition should submit a digital image of their two-dimensional or three-dimensional work online at Artists must provide their name, complete address, email address, title and mediums of the original work of art and a one-paragraph biography. Cost to enter the competition is $20 for adults and $10 for high school students; complete information on the dimensions and technical specifications are available on the website.

“ArtsQuest is proud to continue partnering on the ArtPop competition and excited to expand the program this year with our partners at the Pocono Arts Council,” says ArtsQuest Sr. Director of Visual Arts Stacie Brennan. “This is an impactful program that connects artists with an incredible opportunity to showcase their talent, and it brings awareness and attention to the diverse artistic and cultural community in our region.

“ArtPop provides a platform to share the work of artists with a broad audience, and our program was the first ArtPop program in the country to provide emerging artists from area high schools with this unique professional growth opportunity via the high school competition. We are grateful to be part of this program that places art in unique and unexpected locations that help beautify our communities, as well as make art accessible and available to the public.”

ArtPop 2019 competition dates and deadlines are below; winners’ works will be installed on Adams billboards in early January:

– Sept. 21 – Submission process opens
– Nov. 9 – Deadline for artists to submit work
– Nov. 13-16 – Public vote for People’s Choice Winner
– Dec. 13 – All ArtPop 2019 winners announced

“We at ArtPop Street Gallery are looking forward to our fifth year in promoting local artists work and making art accessible to the Eastern PA community,” says ArtPop Street Galley Founder Wendy Hickey. “Thank you to Adams Outdoor Advertising, the Banana Factory and Pocono Arts Council for their continued support to make this possible.”

For complete information on ArtPop and the official Artwork Submission Specifications Sheet, visit or like/follow ArtPop on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. #enjoyyourcommute #artpopeasternpa