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Museum of Contemporary Art Scratch-Off Ads Encourage Bus Shelter Graffiti

 Scratching away at ads for "The Way of the Shovel" reveals more artwork at four Loop bus shelters.
MCA Scratch-Off Ads
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THE LOOP — Bus shelter ads for a new Museum of Contemporary Art exhibition encourage viewers to scratch off a poster to reveal more artwork underneath.

Interactive ads at 237 N. Michigan Ave., 2 E. Chicago Ave., 360 W. Madison St. and 55 E. Monroe St. feature an overlaid white poster for "The Way of the Shovel: Art as Archeaology," a group exhibition of artwork as it relates to history and archivism coming to the museum this fall.

Beneath it is a backlit image from the exhibit, local artist Tony Tasset's "Robert Smithson (Las Vegas)," from the museum's collection.

The thin white overlay scratches off easily, "giving users the opportunity to become archaeologists through unearthing the artwork beneath," according to Classic Color printing, a Broadview, Ill.-based company that helped execute the museum's idea.

Commuters have already left their mark on the bus shelters, signing names and sketching doodles into the flake-off coating.

"The Way of the Shovel: Art as Archaeology" opened in November at the MCA, and runs through March 9.