There was a full house at the Fernie Arts Station on May 5 for the premiere of the 2016 Banner Project.
Thirty-nine local artists were featured on the banners and included a range of mediums, including oil painting, photography and watercolours. All of the work featured depicted local nature scenes of wildlife and the Rocky Mountains. Artists featured included Eleanor Cook, Bev Delyea, and Keya White. Irene Atkinson, 94, was the oldest artist to be featured in the project.
Terry Nelson and Donna Miller both spoke to the crowd in the foyer of the Arts Station before opening the gallery to the public. Once the doors opened, people funneled into the gallery, where they could purchase all of the banners at a cost of $100. They will receive the banners in two years time, after they spend one year on display in the downtown area and another on display along Highway 3.
Nelson, along wtih Lynda Hyde, helped create the Fernie Banner Project over a decade ago as a way to encourage public art in Fernie.
The Banner Project is a neutral-budget initiative, meaning the money earned from the sale of the banners is reinvested into the project, allowing it to continue. Roughly 30 artists per year for 12 years equates to 360 banners being made within the project’s lifetime.