Arts on the Square 2017 Poster

For several years, I have designed the event program for Waupaca’s annual festival, Arts on the Square. Each year, the Waupaca Community Arts Board runs an image contest, seeking the artwork to be used for posters, flyers, and other promotional materials. My design was selected in 2017.

There is a long tradition of poster design in the graphic arts field – artistic pieces created with a specific communication purpose in mind, in which form is married to function and words are married to images. The composition is designed to draw the eye, form an impression, and impart information. It is a different approach than that of a fine art piece repurposed for use on a poster. “Commerical” artists – those who create specifically for print production and distribution — have historically made very novel use of the particular attributes of the printing processes and technology available to them at the time – using the quirks and limitations of the medium to open up possibilities of expression.

I wanted the poster to capture what Arts on the Square is all about in an arresting image that would stand out in shop windows. I thought about the electronic tools that I use day after day in my work, and how they relate to traditional artists tools. The process involved taking real-world textures and objects, turning them into electronic imagery, and then pushing them back into the real world in the form of printed posters. This can be taken as a metaphor for the interplay between dream and reality, the imagined and the tangible. The colors and flowing contours are meant to be evocative of a dream state, and symbolic of the human ability to imagine and create.

I have been lucky to know many creative people and many more who value the arts and what they bring to our lives. Arts on the Square is a celebration of that ability, and a recognition that our community is absolutely bursting with creative energy. I am deeply honored to have my design selected to represent the 11th annual Arts on the Square.