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Signs as Yard Art in Amarillo, Texas

Jennifer S. Evans-Cowley and Jack L. Nasar
Geographical Review
Vol. 93, No. 1 (Jan., 2003), pp. 97-113
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30033891
Page Count: 17
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Signs as Yard Art in Amarillo, Texas
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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.

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