West Chicago, Illinois: April 1, 2013 -- The selection process for West Chicago's 2013 Community Banner Art Project has begun. According to John Keeney, artist and member of the West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission, 31 submissions from sixteen artists have been received, and digital files have been conveyed to Diana Gabriel and Mario Contreras, the husband and wife team behind the Contreras-Gabriel Project (the CG Project), who will serve as jurors of the submitted artwork.
Contreras and Gabriel's involvement in the West Chicago project, arranged by Commission member Anni Holm, dovetails especially well with their mission at the CG Project, which serves as a creative platform for artists and audiences with a shared vision of increasing appreciation and accessibility of art in our culture. Gabriel works professionally as an artist and curator, and Contreras as a photographer and filmmaker. Together they have organized several art exhibitions and film screenings and often write about art and culture on their website, www.thecontrerasgabrielproject.wordpress.com. Speaking for the CG Project, Contreras expressed his appreciation for the cultivation of public art in the city, "We always enjoy the community banners when in West Chicago. Whether at Blooming Fest or ArtXposium, they're a reminder of the City's commitment to bring art out of the galleries and into the streets, where more people can enjoy it."
Now in its sixth year, the Community Banner Art Project's theme is A Question of Balance. All banners will feature the artists' related interpretations and will bring an exciting visual element to downtown West Chicago from May through September. The juried art is translated into a 30" x 60" banner template through Keeney's artistry, and then transformed into vinyl banners which fasten to light poles along Main Street. Keeney's own art graces the entry banners at each end of the display. The result is a compelling display of public art for the enjoyment of residents and visitors.
"This project has captured the attention of other communities which have inquired about the logistics of putting their own displays together. It is a great credit to the creative talents of the Cultural Arts Commission and the local artists who participate," said City of West Chicago Commission liaison Rosemary Mackey.
For more information, or to see the works of art from previous years, visit www.westchicago.org under Downtown/Public Art.