Laytonville Artists Participate in a Street Banner Design Competition

BANNERFINALIn 2011, a successful creative placemaking project took place in Laytonville, California.  The project, a design competition open to artists in the greater Laytonville / Branscomb area, resulted in the fabrication of colorful new welcome banners for the town of Laytonville.  The project was a collaboration between the Arts Council of Mendocino County and a local banner committee with support from local businesses and individuals.  Over fifty banner design were submitted by Laytonville area artists.  Banner designs submissions were exhibited at a reception for the entries on Monday July 25, 2011 at Harwood Hall in Laytonville.

The genesis of the project occurred in the Spring of 2011, when the staff of the Arts Council of Mendocino County (ACMC) became aware of an effort of a group of Laytonville residents to round out the town’s supply of “Season’s Greetings” and Rodeo banners.  With the ACMC, this informal group determined to invite local artists to create a banner in celebration of the seasons and reflective of Laytonville’s unique sense of place and abundance of natural beauty.  It was also felt by all that these new banners, like the Rodeo and Season’s Greetings banners, might provide a sense of welcome to travelers coming into the town from the West and South and into the County from the North.  The board and staff of the Arts Council agreed that Laytonville, being a “Gateway” town for travelers coming from the North, was in a unique position to offer a favorable first impression of the county as a whole as a welcoming, artistically unique destination and was excited to support a project that was in line with the ACMC mission to promote the arts and cultivate creativity to benefit and enrich the lives of residents and visitors.  In June 2011, the Arts Council of Mendocino County (ACMC) issued a Call for Entries to Laytonville-area artists to support this grassroots effort to create artistically designed “Welcome” banners for the town of Laytonville.  The ACMC was thrilled at the opportunity to engage artists in Laytonville in a creative place-making project that is simultaneously a celebration of the town and an opportunity to showcase the artistic talent of its residents.

Special thanks to: Laytonville Healthy Start & Harwood Hall!


Hal Wagenet, President of the Board of Directors of the Arts Council of Mendocino County, presents Lindsey Ivasku with an artist stipend for her design.

Twenty-five artists responded to the Call for Entries and over fifty banner design submissions were received. (see the entries below) Artists submitting designs range in age from 15 to 55+ with a particularly strong showing of entries from Carolyn Carpenter’s high school art class.  Banner entries reflect the personality and creativity of the artists and range from humorous, ironic, quirky, literal and poetic.  In media they range from photography and painting to graphic design.  (Please note that banner entries were not edited or censored for content and may inspire dialogue.)  Banner design submissions were exhibited at Harwood Hall in Laytonville from July 25 to August 1.  A public reception and exhibition of banner entries was held on Monday, July 25th from 4:30 to 6:30 pm at Harwood Hall in Laytonville,  following the Laytonville Farmers‘ Market.  The community was invited to cast their vote for a winning design at the reception, and a panel comprised of business and nonprofit community representatives selected a design for fabrication and display along the Highway 101 corridor.

The criteria used to determine the winning entry were:
+ expresses civic pride
+ is unique (not a prefab design)
+ addresses a sense of place
+ is welcoming
+ is a graphically excellent

Banners debuted on October 8, 2011 for multi-year use.  Support for the July exhibition of entries with community vote and an unveiling celebration in October was generously sponsored by the Mendocino County Lodging Association, a partner to ACMC in supporting the arts throughout the county.  The following businesses and individuals donated to this project: Albert’s, Beverly A. Celso, Gravier’s Chevron Enterprises, Savings Bank of Mendocino County and Weathertop Nursery.  THANK YOU, DONORS!  If you would like to support projects like this in other parts of the county please contact the Arts Council of Mendocino County office at 707-463-2727 or donate now.

Laytonville Banner Committee: Carolyn Carpenter, Alison Pernell, JJ Plante, Albert Repovsch, Jayma Shields, Alyssum Wier

Special thanks to: Laytonville Healthy Start & Harwood Hall!

The winning entry is by Lindsey Ivasku. Below is her statement about the work:

I have been taking art for 2 years at Laytonville High School. It has been a great experience. I got the idea of a sun for the Laytonville banner. The sun comes up at the beginning of the day and starts the day so having a sun welcoming you when you come into the town of Laytonville should enlighten you. When you come through Laytonville and see my banner I want people to feel like it is a start of a brand new day. I put so much time into this banner. I wanted it to fit the town as much as I could. I hope that everyone that comes into Laytonville will like my banner as much as I do.

Thank you to everyone that has helped with the banner competition. Thank you for  giving me this great opportunity to be able to have my art up all around Laytonville. I couldn’t ask for anything more. I am very thankful that my banner was picked for the Laytonville banner, it means so much to me, thank you so much for everyone that has been supporting me and the banner through this.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to display my artwork in Laytonville. It is an honor to myself and my family that my banner will welcome travelers that pass through our town.

I worked on and completed the banner in Mrs. Carpenter’s Laytonville High School art class. I felt like  the concept of the rising sun would give passers by a feeling of the start of a new day.

I would like to thank all of those who were involved with the banner contest and also the businesses that donated funds to support the banner project.

~ Lindsey Ivasku

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