Non-Sign II


Title: Non-Sign II
Photo Credit: Annie Han, Daniel Mihalyo, Ian Gill
Lead Artist(s):

Contributing Artist(s):
Annie Han

Daniel Mihalyo


According to a US Customs and Border Protection guard at the Blaine, Washington border station, Lead Pencil Studio's work of art represents "the opposite of a billboard. Titled Non-Sign II, it is located at the Peace Arch Land Port of Entry at the United States border with Canada, a fitting site for a work that raises questions about what it is. Collaborators Daniel Mihalyo and Annie Han's abstract piece consists of a blank frame surrounded by a web of metal pieces, and in Mihalyo's words, "Borrowing the effectiveness of billboards to redirect attention away from the landscape... this (is a) permanently open aperture."

While its form mimics those of typical billboard signs ubiquitous to US interstate highways, Non-Sign II is made from small stainless steel rods that are assembled together to create the negative space of a billboard. Rather than capture a driver's attention for advertising or informational purposes, the art work brings focus to the landscape and view. Seattle's newspaper The Stranger described the project: "They noticed the way the area is packed with signs, advertising billboards, and then, closer to the border, a proliferation of government signs. Their hope is that their sign, flying by enigmatically ('What was that'), will add a little bit of awareness to the whole signage landscape in the border zone. Just open up a free space, really. How very American. The empty rectangle frames only a view of sky as you drive by, nothing else."


Transit System
In a field
Blaine, WA 98230
United States

click the map to enlarge

US General Services Administration, Art in Architecture Program
B. Story Swett

Susan Harrison
US General Services Administration, Art in Architecture Program
Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Architects

steel (stainless)