Iconic "Hollywould" sign prank solved

From University Hall itself to student creations like “The Buffalo”, the coulees of the University of Lethbridge have inspired artists since the campus was opened in 1972. For two Faculty of Fine Arts students in the mid 90s, those coulees led to an amazing prank.

Mary-Anne McTrowe (BFA ’98) and Merrilee Wolsey (BFA ’96) first met in a photography class during the spring semester of 1995. “We always found the idea of Lethbridge calling itself ‘LA’ funny,” McTrowe says, “and we figured it should have its own Hollywood sign, but with a more unique interpretation.”

The pair constructed two sets of signs worded “Hollywould” instead of “Hollywood” out of corrugated plastic, hot glue, duct tape and wooden stakes.

“We erected one on the south side of Whoop-Up but it didn’t last too long,” says McTrowe. “The other we put up on the coulees south of where the Library is now and it stayed up long enough for us to get a lot of pictures before it was removed.”

While their creation was short lived, it did get noticed by established art circles.

“A.A. Bronson of General Idea gave an Art Now talk and mentioned liking it,” McTrowe says, “so that was pretty exciting for us.”

Both Wolsey and McTrowe continued to create art after graduation, but in a different medium. Wolsey has worked with electronic music and is the organist for her church while McTrowe just finished up a 10-year music and art collaboration with fellow U of L alum Daniel Wong (BFA ’03) called “The Cedar Tavern Singers AKA Les Phonoréalistes.”

Stories like this are what make the U of L experience unique to each individual. Come to the Blue and Gold Reunion Rally, part of our Homecoming Weekend, this Friday at 2 p.m. at the Quad to hear more stores like this from the students, faculty and staff. Attendance is free, but you must register at