Home Graphic designer OBU’s Fuller Creates “Signs” Art Installation on Route 66

OBU’s Fuller Creates “Signs” Art Installation on Route 66

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Corey Fuller, Chair of Art and Design, Ruth Jay Odom Professor of Fine Arts and Professor of Graphic Design, recently completed an art installation titled “Signs” on a billboard along Route 66 in the western Oklahoma.

Corey Fuller, President of Art and Design, Ruth Jay Odom Professor of Fine Arts and Professor of Graphic Design, recently completed an art installation titled & # x00201c; Signs & # x00201d;  on a billboard along Route 66 in western Oklahoma.

Corey Fuller, Chair of Art and Design, Ruth Jay Odom Professor of Fine Arts and Professor of Graphic Design, recently completed an art installation titled “Signs” on a billboard along Route 66 in the western Oklahoma.

Corey Fuller is an artist whose creativity and imagination run through all aspects of his life. While fulfilling his vocation of teaching others in his roles at the OBU as Chair of Art and Design, Ruth Jay Odom professor of fine arts and professor of graphic design, Fuller also practices what he teaches as an artist and designer. As part of his creative expression outside the classroom, he recently completed a major project – an art installation titled “Signs” on a billboard along Route 66 in western Oklahoma. .

The project, which began last fall, consists of 16 individual hand-painted signs, each measuring two feet by four feet, on masonite and plywood. The signs are mounted on a 16 foot by 8 foot display board that was built on site. The signs each refer to places or fictitious things.

“The difference between this and a real commercial billboard is, of course, that real billboards refer to real places and things,” Fuller said. “In this case, my billboard refers only to a fictitious reality. However, of course, the billboard is actually real.

According to the “Signs” page on Fuller’s website, the work aims to challenge the traditional understanding of a “sign.”

Fuller writes: “In the study of semiotics, we find that a sign is composed of the signifier and the signified. For example, in our culture, a red octagon (the signifier) ​​represents the idea of ​​stopping (the signified). The Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure, the founder of semiotics or semiology, taught that the signifier itself is arbitrary. For example, a red octagon could just as easily have meant leaving, which obviously would now create traffic problems. “

In the case of the art installation, however, the signifier points to a signified object or action that does not exist. Although the referents in Fuller’s signs do not actually exist, the “sign” persists in physical space. Essentially, the signs are out there but point to nowhere other than in the imagination.

Fuller commented on his sources of inspiration for this project.

“I’ve always been interested in billboards, which I think stems from the fact that I traveled a lot as a kid, family trips through barren landscapes like West Texas. and New Mexico, ”he said. “There weren’t any smartphones or iPads, so we just looked at the world around us, the car window being my window to the world. Even when I was young, I still noticed the typefaces and color palettes in road signs.

In particular, however, Fuller said he visually appreciates billboards which are a collage of different signs.

“These pieces of wood recovered from old cut out signs create a sort of palimpsest. Unintentional and random reframing creates new meanings. They have an unintentional deconstructivist aesthetic, ”Fuller said.

Heavily influenced by Oklahoma-born artist Ed Ruscha, Fuller said he gravitated around ideas of isolation and decadence in his work and also blurred the lines between graphic design and fine art. This influence played a big role in Fuller’s motivation to start and finish this project.

“I decided to create a poster board from scratch and put my own signs or panels on it with the idea that the artwork would naturally become weathered and weathered over time,” a- he declared. “With a lot of help from my brother-in-law, we drilled the holes, laid the posts and poured 2,400 pounds of concrete to create the structure, not to mention the addition of some seriously overpriced plywood.”

Fuller plans to remove and eventually sell the individual panels as individual works of art. He then plans to rotate into new jobs, either all at once or individually and slowly over time.

“The structure of the billboard is basically the canvas of the artwork,” he said. “I plan to take photos of the facility over the seasons to capture its slow evolution.”

Fuller went on to explain that the events and products advertised in the signs, while not incredible, are indeed fictional.

“Among the panels, viewers will see references to a cattle auction, football championships and smoked ham – not all inconceivable referents but are in fact works of a visual and fictional narrative.” , did he declare.

The same fictional pattern blending into reality applies to the entire installation.

“Even though the panel contrasts with its surroundings – the farmlands of western Oklahoma – it is camouflaged in a sense, in that it was created to blend in and not appear drastically different from other panels. display that might be in the area. “

For those planning to tour the facility, Fuller said it’s best seen driving west on Route 66 between Weatherford and Clinton. The sign can also be seen from I-40 westbound between mile markers 77 and 76 on the north side of the freeway.

“If you are visiting, be sure to take a photo or selfie and use the hashtag # TheSignOn66,” Fuller said.

Fuller has exhibited his work in many venues including Space 38 | 39, New York, Indiana Wesleyan University, University of Central Oklahoma, and more. He is a professional member, former guest speaker, vice-president, and member of the educational board of the American Institute of Graphic Artists of Oklahoma. He is also involved with the Tulsa Art Director’s Club and the International Arts Movement, NYC.

Fuller’s design work has won several Gold Addy Awards and American Marketing Association recognition. Her current and past students have also won several Addy Awards in the student and professional categories. In 2013, Fuller received the Promising Teacher Award from the OBU.

For more information about Fuller, visit https://www.okbu.edu/directory/corey-fuller.html or the “About the Artist” page on his professional website https://coreyleefuller.com/ about-1.

Learn more about art and design at OBU at okbu.edu/arts/art-design.

This article originally appeared on The Shawnee News-Star: OBU’s Fuller Creates “Signs” Art Installation on Route 66


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