SIGNS AS YARD ART IN AMARILLO, TEXAS

Authors

  • JENNIFER S. EVANS-COWLEY,

    Search for more papers by this author
    • 1

      Dr. Evans-Cowley is an assistant professor of city and regional planning at the Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, where Dr. Nasar is a professor of city and regional planning.

  • JACK L. NASAR

    Search for more papers by this author
    • 1

      Dr. Evans-Cowley is an assistant professor of city and regional planning at the Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, where Dr. Nasar is a professor of city and regional planning.


Abstract

ABSTRACT. The city of Amarillo, Texas, is unusual in that more than 5,000 art objects in the form of signs are displayed on individual properties. These signs represent a unique partnership between the public and a wealthy individual, Stanley Marsh 3, who subsidizes them. Through a field survey of 723 signs and a questionnaire mailed to 98 residents with signs in their yards, we explored use of the signs for communal and individual expression. The field survey found a higher concentration of signs in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods and in Hispanic areas than in high-income and non-Hispanic neighborhoods. The questionnaire revealed that residents used signs for both individual and communal expression and that most residents with signs liked them. Dissatisfaction among a small percentage of residents with signs suggested that the vast number of signs may have compromised their initial uniqueness.

Ancillary