ADA - Chances are good that you drive past at least one empty building or abandoned lot in Ada everyday. But how often do you stop to think about the history of that space or what can be done with it in the future? For one group of ONU senior design students, the empty building and lots in town have taken on a new life in the form of a unique public art project they will be displaying this week.

The students in Professor Brit Rowe's Advanced Visual Communications Design course, Vicki Moga, Kavan Reames, Jerry Beard, Matt Madsen, Kevin Drain, Wes Goldsmith, and Olivia Lindsey, will host a Grafik Intervention at two locations in Ada on Friday, May 10.

Grafik Intervention, developed as an MFA graphic design thesis project by William Culpepper at the Academy of Art University, combines the history of abandoned buildings with their future potential through a display of digital projections onto the building itself. Questionnaires will be provided for the viewers at both locations.

The goal is to engage the community and "create a conversation to inspire new beginnings for the buildings," stated Reames.

The class chose the 1927 Armory building, on East Buckeye, and the vacant lot on North Main Street where the 1882 Young/Arbogast building, locally known as the Opera, once stood. Projections for the Arbogast will be made on the exposed brick surface of the adjacent building. Sites for the display were chosen based on their locations in high traffic areas and the surface of the buildings themselves.

The project required hands-on research of the chosen locations prompting trips to the Hardin County Public Library, Ada Public Library, and the Hardin County Auditor's Office.

"Creating a Grafik Intervention for Ada has been an interesting process for us as seniors at ONU," said Lindsey. "The project connected us to the history of the village and allowed us to draw attention to its potential before we graduate."

Community involvement is a central theme in the Grafik Intervention process.

"Getting the students out of the studio and into the community engages these young designers in a thoughtful, community-based response to social engagement," said Rowe. "We want our students to become socially and environmentally aware leaders in field of visual communication."

The Grafik Intervention will take place beginning at 9 p.m. and will occur at both locations simultaneously. The event is free and open to the public. More information about the ONU project can be found on their Facebook page at