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Local public art to festoon downtown this summer

Published: Monday, June 10, 2013 6:00 a.m. CST • Updated: Friday, July 25, 2014 4:49 a.m. CST
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Rosemary Mackey is the marketing and communications coordinator for the City of West Chicago.

What comes to your mind when you hear the word balance?

“A Question of Balance,” the theme of the 2013 Community Art Banner Project, provides the perspectives of 11 artists who answered the call for art from the West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission. The chosen artwork has been transferred to one-of-a-kind street banners which will transform Main Street into an outdoor gallery from May through September.

Submissions for the 2013 Community Art Banner Project were juried by the husband and wife artist team, Mario Contreras and Diana Gabriel of The Contreras Gabriel Project. Thirty-one applications were received from 16 artists. The winning artwork was created by the following individuals who live in or around West Chicago: Anne Frantzen, Lewis Achenbach, Mark Anderson, Rebecca Hall, Harvey Hanig, Judith Horsley, Kathryn Lentz, Sylvia Mosier, James Rakow, Craig Wassel and Rachel Weaver-Rivera.

The graphic designs bring an exciting visual element to downtown West Chicago. Each individual work of art was incorporated into a 30-by-60-inch banner template through artistry of Cultural Arts Commission member John Keeney, whose 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.

Now in its sixth year, the project has captured the attention of neighboring 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.

To see all the winning designs, visit the city’s website, www.westchicago.org, or better yet, pick up a Banner Walking Tour Map at City Hall, the City Museum or Gallery 200 and plan a trip downtown to see them.

Rosemary Mackey is the marketing and communications coordinator for the City of West Chicago

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