By David Markham
JCPRD’s Public Art Program will soon be commissioning four regional artists and illustrators to create the first four in an anticipated ongoing a series of collectible posters featuring the agency’s parks.
“Posters will emphasize the distinct features of individual parks, or for larger parks, celebrate specific places within JCPRD parks, trails, or facilities,” explained Superintendent of Culture Susan Mong. “Four parks have been chosen to kick off this first JCPRD Poster Project with plans to launch new posters annually.”
Parks to be featured in the project’s first year are: Bill Bull Creek Park, Cedar Niles Park, Lexington Lake Park, and Shawnee Mission Park.
Goals of the poster project include: celebrating JCPRD parks, trails, and facilities and the special places within them; raising awareness about the parks, places, and spaces that are part of the JCPRD system; and providing opportunities to commission and showcase regional artists and illustrators.
A call for artists for this project went out in late February inviting regional artists to participate in this poster design opportunity. A stipend of $2,500 will be paid to each successful artist.
A virtual open house and informational session about this project via Zoom will be offered from 11 to 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 9. To RSVP for this session, see the website below.
Interested artists have until April 5 to submit their qualifications for consideration at JCPRD.com/1901/JCPRD-Poster-Project. Submissions must include: a curriculum vitae/resume with current contact information and past/current experience; up to ten images of relevant previous artwork; names and contact information for three professional references, and a brief artist statement stating why they are interested in this project.
“Four distinct artists will be chosen to design each of these featured parks,” Mong said. “The final poster designs will be unveiled sometime this fall. The posters will be exhibited in places throughout the county, and will be available for sale online and in the museum gift shop, with proceeds to benefit the JCPRD Public Art Program. JCPRD has 17 regional parks and streamway trail systems and several iconic facilities that will serve as great future poster features, perfect for collecting.”
Posters celebrating parks, park wonders, and scenic places have a long tradition. During the Great Depression, the Works Progress Administration developed National Parks-themed posters to promote the expanding system of parks being developed through the Civilian Conservation Corps. More recently, local park systems, conservation groups, and communities have commissioned artists to create collectable posters using both retro and contemporary styles that celebrate getting out into nature.