Self-taught artist John Fadley loves facial features, particularly those that do the talking.

"I don't know what it is with my fascination with lips," Fadley said. "I've always been drawn to them. I feel like they communicate so much more than other facial features."

Fadley, 25, of Columbus was one of six local artists chosen for an ArtPop Street Gallery billboard in collaboration with the Greater Columbus Art Council's Art Makes Columbus/Columbus Makes Art initiative.

The billboards went up April 30 around central Ohio.

This is the fourth local ArtPop Street Gallery billboard display; the national nonprofit organization "gives communities across the country greater access to art by supporting the artists that create it," according to the ArtPop website.

Each artist is given space for one year on a Lamar Advertising Co. billboard, the back of a Central City Solutions' newsstand in downtown Columbus and $500, which essentially is a licensing fee.

The artists' images are captured on vinyl and returned to them by Lamar, said Jami Goldstein, spokeswoman for the Greater Columbus Arts Council.

None of the artwork stays in place -- it is rotated among vacant billboards throughout central Ohio, she said.

Goldstein said the program received 51 submissions this year. The art must have been created within the past five years.

"This is really the perfect manifestation of GCAC's Art Makes Columbus, the goal of which is to promote art and artists in Columbus," she said. "And then, the GCAC, with our finances, gets to support artists. And we do this on a pretty grand scale."

Fadley's work, "Love," for which he used latex house paint, depicts a plump pair of lips painted with abstract brushstrokes, a set of upper teeth bearing the word love and a background of horizontal lines.

Chloe Schlorb, 23, who lives near Hilliard, created a digital painting on her Wacom tablet to produce "The Troubled Troubling," featuring three emotional goldfish -- "sad," "annoyed" and "moody." A troubling is the term for a cluster of goldfish.

"My website traffic is already up dramatically," she said, since her artwork was posted on the billboard at Stelzer Road and East Fifth Avenue. "It's a wonderful opportunity, and it's just starting."

Columbus' Short North neighborhood is depicted in Robie Benve's "It'll Be Grand," a mixed-media piece using acrylic, paper, markers, pencils and other material.

"It's very colorful, and we had some stenciled patterns," said Benve, 50, a native of Italy and an Upper Arlington resident.

Sarah Kaytlin Pfeifer's "Ophelia" is a horizontal photo of her friend, Kelcie Johnson, half submerged in shallow water in Hocking Hills.

Pfeifer, 27, of Gahanna said she selected the shot on a whim, not knowing what to expect.

Her love of cameras dates back to her childhood and was affirmed when she was a park photographer for the Walt Disney World resort in Florida.

"I was always a theater kid so I was always in front of the camera in my childhood," she said. "In 2011, I took some senior photos for a friend who was just graduating from high school. When I did that, I liked photography, but I didn't think I could realistically do that as a career."

David Denniston, who lives in downtown Columbus, said he is an oil artist and leans toward realism.

His winning entry, "Make Believe," shows a rainy scene with a woman holding an umbrella and a man on a propped-up motorboat in Franklinton and a man in a raincoat looking at them, under a tormented sky.

Denniston, 51, has a studio in Franklinton and he said he believes the scene he entered is uplifting.

"You know, I made it feel sunshiny when it was a rainy day," he said.

New Albany High School senior Aenea Keren's "Oh Rats" is a gouache painting featuring four rats in various positions and colorfully outlined.

Keren, who could not be reached for comment, is a second-year student in the Mosaic program, which implements a project-based, integrated humanities program.

Students who qualify for ArtPop must plan to attend college for art in some discipline, Goldstein said.

Keren, 18, will attend the University of Central Florida to study character animation, Goldstein said.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary