Submissions now accepted for Festival of Banners 2017

WORKING TOGETHER: People of all ages came together to paint banners in early 2016. Festival of Banners 2017 is accepting designs until Oct. 29, with paint days in early January. (Pioneer file photo)

WORKING TOGETHER: People of all ages came together to paint banners in early 2016. Festival of Banners 2017 is accepting designs until Oct. 29, with paint days in early January. (Pioneer file photo)

BIG RAPIDS — Throughout the year, brightly-painted banners decorate downtown Big Rapids, and for the second time, area residents have a chance to submit a design to be part of the display.

The Festival of Banners 2017 is accepting design submissions through Oct. 29. Entry forms are available at Artworks, 106 N. Michigan Ave., Big Rapids, and can be returned in person or via mail.

In all, 98 designs will be accepted to decorate banners which will hang downtown for a year, replacing the ones created in early 2016 during the Festival of the Arts.

“Last year, the project was started by the City of Big Rapids and the Festival of the Arts,” said Lynne Scheible, executive director of Artworks. “We painted over old banners the city had. This year, our eight sponsors have enabled us to purchase new banners for the project.”

Submitting a design is free for children from 8 to 18 years old. Adults also are welcome to submit designs, but there is a fee for adult submissions and for children who wish to purchase their banners after they hang downtown for the year. The $25 fee will go toward keeping the project going in future years, helping cover the cost of banners and art supplies.

Residents of all levels of artistic ability are encouraged to participate.

“This is a great community engagement project,” Scheible said. “It’s not only for community artists to get involved.”

When the community was invited to paint banners as part of the Festival of the Arts, Scheible said the paint days turned into multi-generational events, with parents, children and grandparents all working together to create their art. Afterward, she’s seen people walking around town to find their banner, or their child’s or friend’s.

“You would see people working together on the paint days and then to see the end product was exciting for everybody,” Scheible said. “Later, it was fun for people, especially young people, to see their art hanging up.”

There is no theme for artwork submissions, but the guidelines state no disturbing, copy-written or inappropriate art will be selected. Most designs will be accepted, Scheible said.

“Go ahead and submit a design — get involved — it’s so much fun,” she said. “Be a part of the arts. Most people who submit a design, we’re going to applaud and say, ‘Yay!’ We just want to bring joy and fun and enjoyment to the community. Have fun with it.”

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Posted by Candy Allan

Candy is the Pioneer's associate editor. She also coordinates the Family & Friends, Religion and Parenting pages. She can be reached by phone at (231) 592-8386 or by e-mail at callan@pioneergroup.com.

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