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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Parking ticket art causes passers-by to pause

Passers-by cast odd glances at a car covered with parking tickets Saturday at the corner of Main Street and Post Avenue in Spokane. (Tyler Tjomsland)

One parking ticket is bad enough.

Imagine having dozens of them. A car parked on Post near Main is literally covered in parking tickets, but they aren’t real.

“It’s extraordinary,” said Eastern Washington University art professor Tom Askman. “There is nothing ordinary about walking down the street and seeing a car covered in parking tickets.”

And that’s the point. The car is part of an installation created by Askman’s Alternative Media class.

Part of the exhibition’s purpose is to create “wonder,” Askman said. Students want strangers to stop and notice the unusual display.

On Saturday, passers-by out for a weekend stroll did just that. Some laughed, some looked concerned, and most took a photo. Joe Reilly and his 9-year-old daughter, Adia, wondered if it was fake or real.

“I thought it was a prank,” Adia said. “I still do.”

Joe added, “I can’t tell whether it’s real.”

The vehicle caught Amanda Huber’s eye from across the street, and she came closer to investigate and take a photo.

“I’m kind of lost for words,” she said. “I just think it’s hilarious.”

The installation will stay up through today. The class paid to reserve the spot in advance, and the meter was bagged by the city. The vehicle is owned by one of Askman’s students.

Although the idea originated with one student, the whole class contributed to the project. Students filmed reactions as part of the installation and will upload those to YouTube. The same students added fake tickets to the installation Friday leading up to First Friday, the monthly arts showcase in downtown Spokane.

By midday Saturday someone added a real parking ticket (from a different vehicle) on top of the dozens of fake, photocopied ones.

“It’s not complicated,” Askman said.