Community banners now on display in West Chicago
Colorful artworks submitted as entries to West Chicago's 2016 Community Art Banner project are now on display on Main Street.
The 17 banners depicting this year's theme, "Patterns-Patterns-Patterns," will be up through early September on street poles from West Washington Street eastward to the R. Eugene Rennels Bridge.
The annual banner contest is a project of the West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission. The entries were anonymously judged by Chicago-based artist Nate Matthews, assistant professor of photography at Northeastern Illinois University.
The banners represent an eclectic original body of work that ranges from textiles to watercolors. All works were photographed in high resolution and transferred to 30-foot-by-60-foot vinyl banners. Commission members Uwe Gsdel, Anni Holm and Sara Phalen worked together to create a banner template that was customized to complement the individual works of art.
"This project has become a highly anticipated installation, with the banners serving as a creative focal point on Main Street," said cultural arts liaison Rosemary Mackey. "They are one more unique reason to visit, stroll and spend time in historic downtown West Chicago."
Featured artists this year are: Chris Hodge, Lewis Achenbach, Anni Holm, Mitch Ralph, Kathy Steere, Nancy Reppe, Juan Fernandez, Andrea Alvarez, Anne Frantzen, Judith Horsley, Katherine Houlne, Eden Unluata, Dan Stultz, Audrius Plioplys, Natalia Toreeva, Meg Duguid, and Diana Gabriel and Rita Grendze.
The commission's Walking Tour Map is a great way to enhance visitors appreciation of the art and learn more about the artists, Mackey said. The map is available at the West Chicago City Museum, 132 Main St.; at Gallery 200, 200 Main St.; or online through a mobile device.
"There has been a growing interest among artists to participate in this project," commission Chairwoman Anni Holm said. "This year we have artists from Aurora, Elgin, Batavia, Wheaton, Northwoods, Yorkville, Carol Stream and Chicago, as well as those from West Chicago represented.
"It is very exciting for us to expand our reach, collaborate and connect our creative base with that of other communities. It strengthens the arts for all of us."
The theme for the 2017 Community Art Banner Project is "Rails and Trails." The commission hopes the early notice will inspire artistic pursuits related to the rails and trails in and around West Chicago this summer, fall and winter.
Online submission forms may be found at westchicago.org at under Residents/Forms and Applications.