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Creative Airdrie shows off new lamp banners

By: Allison Chorney

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jul 17, 2014 10:23 am

The Airdrie Street Lamp Banner Program's People's Choice Contest was kicked off on July 15 outside Good Earth Coffeehouse. The 33 lamp banners created by local artists are now on display on the lamp posts lining 1st Avenue and 8th street, in what Creative Airdrie is calling Artists' Alley. The public now has a chance to vote on their favourite banners with the top five banner artists receiving a $200 honorarium.
The Airdrie Street Lamp Banner Program's People's Choice Contest was kicked off on July 15 outside Good Earth Coffeehouse. The 33 lamp banners created by local artists are now on display on the lamp posts lining 1st Avenue and 8th street, in what Creative Airdrie is calling Artists' Alley. The public now has a chance to vote on their favourite banners with the top five banner artists receiving a $200 honorarium.
Allison Chorney/Rocky View Publishing

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Airdrie has some new public art to boast about with the installation of the Airdrie Street Lamp Banner Program. The program features works of art from 33 local artists on street lamps along First Avenue and Eighth Street, and Creative Airdrie along with Airdrie Regional Arts Society want to know which ones are your favourite.

“People can now go online and pick their favourite banner,” said Creative Airdrie Vice Chair Sherry Shaw-Froggatt.

The artists of the top five banners with the most votes will receive a $200 honourarium and voters could win a $100 gift card toward the purchase of local art and a $50 Good Earth Coffeehouse gift card. Voting can be done via creativeairdrie.ca or artsairdrieab.com

“We are getting a lot of buzz about the banners already through Facebook and Twitter,” Shaw-Froggatt said.

Voting is open until Sept. 10 at noon and Shaw-Froggatt said it is only one vote per device so make sure you vote on your home computer, work computer, phone and tablet.

The banner program is a partnership between Creative Airdrie, Airdrie Regional Art Society, the City of Airdrie and Camgill Enterprises.

“We’re so pleased to be a part of this,” Mayor Peter Brown said. “When I go to other communities, the first thing I notice is the art.”

Brown added there is something about public art that just makes you feel good and supporting the arts in Airdrie is “absolutely imperative.”

The banner program received more than 250 applicants and a jury of out-of-market art experts and local community representatives selected the 33 winners.

“Congratulations to all the artists including those who didn’t make it,” Brown said, adding all artists should continue to submit their work to these community efforts. “We’re going to have more (public art) initiatives moving forward.”

Michelle Wiebe, whose banner depicts a mother and her baby, said the inspiration for her design came from photographs she’s taken.

“I’ve been focusing on portrait work and have been snapping photos of friends to practice,” she said, adding her banner is a painting based on a photo of her friend with the friend’s baby.

“When I was looking at the photos, it jumped out as engaging to me.”

She said she participated in the program as a way to contribute to the community.

“I’ve always admired that kind of public art in other cities and was really excited when this opportunity came up,” she said.

Veronica Funk’s colourful creation depicts birch trees and the original artwork includes silver-leaf elements to create sparkle.

She said she was inspired by her childhood in northern Manitoba and the many trees there.

“They are just so happy,” she said. “We struggle with growing trees here in this part of Alberta so it’s nice to honour the ones we do have.”

Funk said she was unsure at first if she was going to enter a submission to the program because she said she felt she had already been very lucky to share her work with the community.

However, she decided to participate to support the creation of more public art displays in part because she said communities with public art are statistically shown to have lower crime rates.

“I love to share what I do with the community,” Funk said.

“I’m just so grateful to Creative Airdrie and the City of Airdrie for their support of local arts.”

The banners will remain on the lamp post until the winter months and will be put up once again in the following spring.

For more information or to vote, visit creativeairdrie.ca


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