The City of Victoria’s biennial summer banner program showcases the talents of local artists and reflects the vibrancy and creativity of our city.
2017/2018 Summer Banners
The City of Victoria’s Artist in Residence Luke Ramsey, in collaboration with 18 Ecole Shoreline Community Middle School students, has created a set of four banners that will adorn lampposts downtown and in Beacon Hill Park for the next two summers.
With the support of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, Grade 6 – 8 Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth participated in two drawing workshops led by Ramsey in January. The project provided an opportunity for the youth to explore their self-esteem and confidence through collaborative art making and contribute to the design of the banners.
Both workshops were hosted by Education Liaison, Songhees Elder and Master Carver, Butch Dick afterschool at the Songhees Wellness Centre. The students were provided an original poster of their drawings designed by Ramsey as well as honorariums for their artistic contributions.
In the first workshop, the youth used a natural object such as a rock, piece of wood or flower to find inspiration. Drawings were shared among the students as part of the collaborative process. In the second workshop, Ramsey displayed the students’ drawings and led them in a group discussion about shape, composition and collaboration, which resulted in one overall art piece.
For the final design, Ramsey used aspects of the students’ artwork in combination with his own drawings to create an abstract collection of imagery which captures the whimsy and personality of the students. The banner artwork features smiley faces, unicorns, skateboarders, cats and many other motifs, making the overall design colourful, dynamic and playful.
In describing the process, the youth expressed it was a positive experience. Some feedback included: “I loved meeting new people and friends”, “I like being able to work together and come together to make something new,” “I like art because it evokes emotions and it lets you achieve anything you want,” “I wish we could do this more,” and “What I liked most was being included.”
The banners will complement downtown streetscapes over the summer season. Installation of the banners begins Friday, May 12 and will continue the week of May 29, 2017. The City of Victoria’s biennial summer banner program showcases local artists and reflects the vibrancy and creativity of Victoria. This year’s banners are aligned with the City’s programming to mark Canada’s 150th.
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