Take Flight in 2021: Call for street banner artwork in West Chicago

  • Creativity on Main Street blooms May through September with the West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission's art banner exhibit. A call for art has been issued for the 2021 exhibit, with the theme, "Take Flight."

    Creativity on Main Street blooms May through September with the West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission's art banner exhibit. A call for art has been issued for the 2021 exhibit, with the theme, "Take Flight." Courtesy of City of West Chicago

Submitted by Rosemary Mackey
Updated 10/30/2020 10:37 PM

The West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission is hoping 2021 will be the year for new and returning artists to be inspired to take flight with the theme by the same name, and submit original artwork for consideration of the city's annual art banner exhibit.

"Take Flight" offers an opportunity for artists wishing to make a statement on what the concept means to them. Whether literally or figuratively, the words "take flight" are intended to generate a host of ideas from aviation and space to concepts of rising above the challenges of 2020, breaking barriers or experiencing the joy and exhilaration of a successful endeavor, just to name a few.


The cultural arts commission hopes the result to be a richly varied exhibit of art that takes the annual public art project to new heights of creative expression.

All media are welcome, with no limitation to technique or subject matter, as long as it relates to the theme, "Take Flight." Each selected design will be reproduced, at the commission's expense, on 60- by 30-inch vinyl street banners.

Artists selected will receive credit on both the banner and in printed materials related to the exhibit. Additionally, applicants are asked to submit a brief statement about their inspiration for inclusion in publicity materials.

Banners will hang on Main Street and West Washington Street in downtown West Chicago from May to September 2021.

Banners measure: (height) 60 inches by (width) 30 inches with text, image field measuring approximately: (height) 42 inches by (width) 30 inches. Before submitting, applicants should make sure that the art work is reproducible at the specified dimensions and at an adequate resolution, as no exceptions to these specifications will be made, in order to ensure the quality and integrity of the entire exhibit.

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The West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission will work with artists to obtain proper file sizes for reproduction once juried into the exhibit. However, all submissions should reflect the size specifications in order to be considered.

An entry is comprised of up to 3 jpeg images at 72 dpi measuring 7 inches by 5 inches. All files should be numbered and named with the artist's last name and first name. Ex.: 01Lastname_Firstname.jpg and submitted via an online form. All entries must be original and created within two years of entry date. Entries must be received by Feb. 1, 2021.

Judging of submissions will be based on jpeg files only. Jpeg files submitted must represent actual work. An independent juror not affiliated with the city of West Chicago or the West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission will select the winning art works anonymously. The cultural arts commission reserves the right to refuse to exhibit any work it deems unacceptable due to significant departure from jpeg representation or inappropriate content.

During the course of the exhibit, the general public will be invited to vote for an artist/banner to receive the People's Choice Award. The winner of the People's Choice Award will receive their banner free of charge. All other banners may be sold, with the artist receiving the first right of refusal, and proceeds will be used for future art programming.

By submitting artwork for consideration, the artist must acknowledge and agree to the terms of the city's standard photographic waiver by checking a box on the submission form, which gives the city permission to identify the artist and use the image in its publicity efforts.

Visit www.westchicago.org for more information.

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