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MCA Uses ‘Scratch-Off’ Ads To Promote Exhibit

(Credit: Museum Of Contemporary Art-Chicago)

(Credit: Museum Of Contemporary Art-Chicago)

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By John Dodge

CHICAGO (CBS) — You just missed the 66 Chicago Ave. bus and bus tracker says you have a few minutes to kill. The clever minds at the Museum of Contemporary Art have devised a way to take your mind off the wait.

As part of a promotional campaign for its new exhibit “The Way of the Shovel: Art as Archaeology,” MCA has placed unique, interactive billboards on bus shelters.

The advertisements are covered with that thin metallic material used to cover scratch-off game tickets.

While commuters wait, they can scratch away at the material, revealing more information about the exhibit.

“The advertisements are opportunities for people to become archaeologists and remove layers to find something new,” MCA said in a news release.

As people scratch away at the advertisement, which depicts a shovel that Mark Dion illustrated for exhibit, other images—Chicago artist Tony Tasset’s self-portrait as Robert Smithson and a special offer for two-for-one admission—is revealed.

(Credit: Museum Of Contemporary Art Chicago)

(Credit: Museum Of Contemporary Art Chicago)

“The Way of the Shovel: Art as Archaeology” explores contemporary artists’ interests in history, archaeology, and archival research. Much of that influence, the MCA says, drove some of the most powerful works of the past decade.

The exhibition also includes a segment on the evolution of the land on which the MCA is built.

The exhibit runs though March 9.