West Chicago, Illinois: July 19, 2011 – There’s still time to take a stroll down Main Street, West Chicago to view some great works of public art. Winning banners from the 2011 Art Banner Contest sponsored by the West Chicago Cultural Commission will be on display through the summer and offer a creative take on the theme, The Way Things Move.
This is the fourth year that banners have adorned Main Street light poles. The juried project has generated interest from artists all around the Chicagland area who submitted their designs for consideration. The result was twenty artist interpretations of movement which were turned into 30” x 60” street banners for the public’s enjoyment.
Here’s what some of the artists are saying about the inspirations behind their work:
“In my case with “Dancing Colors”, (as) soon as I read about the topic in the banner contest, I know it is what I want to work with. Koi fish are so colorful, always look to my like flags in the wind. I decide use Digital Painting for the technique because the possibilities that offer. In the end of the day what I have in my mind and what I have done in the screen are more similar than when I try traditional media. ~ Michael Canton
“I had a few images in mind for the contest and I ended shooting three original pieces, anyway. The wind engine was near a restaurant that I eat breakfast at a couple times a week. On that particular day the blades were spinning in the wind, the light was perfect and I shot several takes at long exposures looking for a certain kind of a softness from the motion blur, yet the black arc of the metal ring that holds the blades in place imparts a strong contrast of hardness against the softness of blades.” ~ Harvey Hanig
“My husband and I decided to take our Airedale Terrier, Beorn, with us when we went down to Shawnee National Forest and the Catch River Basin for some hiking in early April. It is a long drive and at one point I looked out my side window to view the scenery and discovered that Beorn had put the window down and had his head happily out the window in the back seat. Instead of immediately making him get back inside, I grabbed my cameral from the floor and tok a photo of the rear-view mirror that contained his happy reflection and the car behind us. I then made him get inside and asked Michael to put on the window child safety locks. I liked the re3sults of the photo but never had it developed until it was time to search my photos for a banner entry with the theme of “How Things Move”. I’m grateful to the judges for liking this photo of our bad boy dog as much as I do. ~ Judith Horsley
“If I may base mine on a quote, ‘The modern artist….is working and expressing an inner world – in other words – expressing the energy, the motion, and other inner forces. Jackson Pollock 1912-1956’” ~ Mark Moleski
“The story behind my banner (Party Lights) is that my boys Sean and Alec were playing with those glowing necklaces, bracelets last fourth of July. They had them around their neck, arms, legs…so I told them to move as fast as they could in the dark and captured the movement of the glowing light! They had a blast dancing in the dark and I had a blast trying to capture the moment.” ~ Britta Renwick
“I am a train buff and had an opportunity to photograph a steam train at night at a transportation museum, this was the result.” ~ Mike Smith
“The clearance room at Von Maur department store is a dangerous place. They had this beautiful, totally impractical pair of pink shoes with ridiculous (for me) heels that I absolutely loved. When they were further reduced the d next time I looked, of course I bought them. I had been thinking about the banner theme for months, ‘Motion – how things move’, and had the idea of showing the shoes somehow. My daughter’s boyfriend, Dave Cummins, photographed the shoes may different ways and with many different settings. It was from one of those photographs that I did the colored pencil rendition of “Pink Shoes”, a simple straightforward design that has the subject easy to recognize as you drive by the banner. (And wouldn’t you know, the next time I went into Von Maur’s, the shoes were even further reduced! Oh well.) ~ Kathy Steere
“The title is: 41º53’18″N 88º12’35″W, which are the coordinates of the city of West Chicago.
My piece is a photograph, taken from the passenger seat of my car, while driving across the train tracks on Washington Street. Since my husband and I in 2006 moved to “Old Heidelberg” we have experienced an increase in the train traffic with the acquisition of “The J” by Canadian National Railroad. This has not only made it difficult to get anywhere on time, but it also means that we are cut off from the rest of town for long periods of time through out both day and night. Prior to the sale of “The J” the City of West Chicago and residents made great efforts to stop the deal, but somehow it still went through. Although, the Canadian National Railroad was required to provide some sort of compensation to both the city and its residents, very little has been done to reverse the negative effect of the increased train traffic. Overall the West Chicago business life and its residents have suffered – in lost time, money, business, work, children, adults, sleep, etc. the list goes on. It’s my impression that most of us approach the tracks with hesitation and automatically step a little harder on the accelerator or speed up our walk in and exhale in relief when we make it across. To the U.S. Surface Transportation Board West Chicago (and with that I mean WE) were just some coordinates on the map – a place ideal to send more trains through – which made it easy to make a motion to approve the purchase. This was the main reason I chose to submit this piece for the exhibition themed: Motion – the way things move.” ~ Anni Holm
“My image is part of a series called “The Disasters” in which I explore the four elemental forces of nature that humanity has struggled against for millenia and survived. The four aspects are Gale (wind), Deluge (water), Eruption (earth) & Conflagration (fire). Each aspect will be explored with 24 different images in 24 different media. The “Beta’s” are done using woodblock/linocut prints. This image “Beta Eruption” showcased the movement of the Earth in a dramatic fashion. Something so violent, and devestating on our scale, is minor and relatively inconsequential on the global and geologic scale. Nature neither has compassion nor contempt for humanity, it simply goes through it’s cycle. We are dependent on the Earth, not vice-versa.” ~ Fotios Zemenides
“My image is a photograph of my son Joey throwing stones in a pond last season.” ~ Joanne Kalchbrenner
The call for art for next year’s banner project has been released. The 2012 theme is: America – Who We Are. The deadline for submissions is February 1, 2012.