Downtown Tumbler Ridge will be receiving a shot of colour this summer, thanks to some talented community members who contributed their artistic skills to creating some street banners for the town. Initiated by the District?s Economic Development Department, the Street Spirit Banner Project was developed to help revitalize the downtown core through a showcase of local art. A total of seven designs were chosen to be produced into 30″x60″ banners that will be hung on every lamp standard on streets of Front, Founders, and Main, as well as every second lamp standard along Southgate and Northgate.
Provincial funding was granted through the 2010 ArtsNow Innovations program, a subsidiary of the 2010 LegaciesNow initiative, for the creation of three commissioned designs and the instruction of public arts workshops. Following a public request for proposal Darcy Jackson, owner of Indian Paintbrush Fine Arts, was contracted to do the work.
Darcy ultimately created three banners featuring:
(i) A depiction of Town Hall,
(ii) Kinuseo Falls image collage, and
(iii) Dinosaur tracks leading to a silhouette of Alex Monkman.
As this work was being done Darcy also conducted a series of public art workshops in the fall of 2005 to help facilitate the creation additional designs, four of which ended up being produced.
These designs came out of art classes cooperatively organized by Tumbler Ridge Secondary School teacher Christy Fennell, and feature the contributions of the following four students:
(i) Esther Walkley (Cross-country skier),
(ii) Jennifer Deleeuw (Lake and Mountain View),
(iii) Stacey Muise (Flower), and
(iv) Melissa St. Clair (Bullrushes).
All of the banners were publicly unveiled at the Downtown Landscape Enhancement Project Open House on March 31st, receiving accolades from the people who attended. With the exception of the picture attached to this article, everyone else will have to wait until the banners are hung in May to see them.
The success of this project is a testament to the wealth of talent that our community possesses, and illustrates just how much our local youth can contribute to the betterment of our town. All in all, local arts and culture creates a separate identity for each community, but at the same time it weaves a common thread through us all. For these reasons art in all its forms should be celebrated, nurtured and held up high for the entire world to see. It is hoped that this project helps reinforces this point of view and inspires others to work towards achieving it.