2017 Banner Art Exhibit depicts community’s history and natural resources
Please note the correct location and time for the Banner Artist Reception is the West Chicago City Museum, 132 Main Street, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
In sight of actual rail lines and bicycle trails, seventeen pieces of original art work from the 2017 Community Banner Art Project hang high on street posts along Main Street in West Chicago’s historic downtown. Sponsoring the project, the West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission received numerous creative pieces after a call went out for art that attracted local artists, along with artists from Chicago and the Chicagoland area.
The theme this year, Rails & Trails, reflects the history and natural resources of West Chicago. Each chosen piece for the spring/summer outdoor exhibit is featured on a (h) 60” x (w) 30” vinyl street banner. Entries were judged by Glenn Hansen, a professor of Photography at College of DuPage.
An interactive walking tour map, which may be found here and accessed through mobile devices as well as desktops, enhances the experience for visitors to the downtown outdoor exhibit and illustrates the talent and inspiration of the artists below:
- Sarah Bass – “I found this to be a meaningful interpretation of the theme because the photograph symbolically includes both the ‘rail’ and the ‘trail’ concepts. While the iron arch over the bridge is not literally a ‘railway,’ it is reminiscent of one. Visually, the arch and footpath mirror each other as they move in the same direct along the prairie path; set against the backdrop of the first snowfall, it draws one’s attention to the symbolic meeting place of industry and nature.”
- Judith Horsley – “The Geneva Spur Trail, starting at Reed-Keppler Park, is another favorite ride when we are not on Trail Patrol. The high arching bridge can be seen from the ARC Center and the West Chicago Prairie Forest Preserve, one of the region’s premier natural areas, can be seen from the trail and the bridge. It is an exciting reminder that the Geneva Spur Trial is part of the first successful ‘rails to trails’ in the United States happened right here in West Chicago.”
- Rebecca Hall – “West Chicago was originally known as Junction, because it was the first town in the state to have a junction between two railroads. Everyone who has been stopped by a train on Washington Street in West Chicago is familiar with this location, though you may not recognize it! To view the inspiration, enter 41.855, -88.21 (latitude and longitude) in Google maps!”
- Gary School DREAM Program – no statement was submitted.
- Andi Cooper– “I’m little and mighty. All ages and sizes can enjoy the trails in and around West Chicago.”
- Karolina Brandt – “West Branch forest preserve is a favorite go to for walks and seeing many different aspects, such as lakes, wetlands, a tallgrass meadow, a wet prairie, an immature floodplain forest. It has changed much with recent rebuilding of the plains. Makes me think of the West Chicago slogan of ‘Where History and Progress Meet.’”
- Jeff Lesnik – “Everything changes. You can be active and initiate the change yourself to help shape the world to your vision. Or, you can sit idly by and wait for change to happen to the world around you and, ultimately, you.”
- Sarah Schafer – “Our family loves Reed-Keppler Park, especially in the fall. There is no shortage of beautiful trees to enjoy all the colors the season has to offer.”
- Joe Weibler – “Scouting new locations around our new home in Wisconsin, went up to the Ferry Bluff ridge where Bald Eagles roost during the winter (and the area is closed November thru March to protect them). This trail/board walk led to the rocky outcrop overlooking the Wisconsin River.”
- Kathy Steere – “Having misremembered the theme ‘Rails and Trails’ as ‘Rails to Trails’, I have a caboose disappearing down the rails as flowers and weeds start reclaiming the land so it can be easily converted to a trail. If you look closely, you’ll see the shadow of a train man waving farewell from the open door.”
- Phillip A. Weibler – “Both of the Union Pacific Railroad’s two remaining steam locomotives have visited West Chicago. In 2002 Number 3985 (a 4-6-6-4 simple articulated locomotive) was based in West Chicago for a week, powering excursion trips in the Chicago area.”
- Lisa Stapella – “The beauty of the countryside around the West Chicago area inspires me throughout the year. I wanted to capture and image of its constantly changing tapestry of colors and textures.”
- Maggie Capettini – “’Many Ways’ in title and imagery is symbolic. There are many ways of coming and going; many ways of communicating; many ways of embracing or alienating community and tradition.”
- Joan Trushin – “Although it was taken 2017, this black-and-white image certainly looks like it could be a photograph from West Chicago’s past.”
- Natalia Toreeva – “I like this theme since I can see the transformation from the old railroads to the new trails the people can use.”
- Harvey Hanig – “On the trail below the railroad bridge crossing the Fox River in Geneva, IL. with good light and strong light and geometric shadows.
- Pamela Keller – “While enjoying a bike ride on the trail in West Chicago on a hot summer day, I stopped for water and captured this scene.”
Artists from the 2017 Banner Art Exhibit, along with the original piece of artwork depicted on their banner, will be at the West Chicago City Museum, 132 Main Street, on Friday, June 2, 2017 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
The free reception will include refreshments and an opportunity to mingle with artists and learn more about their work. Plus, those attending will learn more about the theme for the 2018 Banner Art Exhibit, which has been announced as Pop Art.
“There will be no shortage of creative energy in downtown West Chicago with so many talented artists gathering to share their media and love for the arts with the community,” said City of West Chicago Cultural Arts Commission staff liaison, Rosemary Mackey, speaking about the June 2nd Museum event.
*Photo on homepage by Philip A. Weibler.
Walking Tour Map – .pdf 7 MB