2010 Festival Poster

Organization Name:
Westmoreland Arts and Heritage Festival
City & State:
Describe your creative piece – what is it and what has it been used for, and why is it innovative?
Being used as both a poster & a program book cover for the '10 Festival. The Westmoreland Arts & Heritage Festival mission is to present exceptional visual arts, traditional crafts, educational activities and live performing artists to enlighten, entertain & enrich the community, while preserving & demonstrating Pa’s historical & living cultural heritage. Established in 1975 & the product of community volunteers that recognized the need for an accessible event that brought a wide range of cultural experiences to our community. In its 36th year our multicultural art experience is a 4-day celebration of the arts in rural SW Pa. The poster illustrates the goal of each of our festivals – to bring the world of art & cultural experiences to our rural community. The color scheme chosen fuse vintage sensibilities with a desire for clear and straightforward communication. In the past, we relied heavily on photographs—the use of illustration in this design shatters that mold for the better.
What issue or problem were you working to address with this piece?
The Festival is a bundle of contradictions—it preserves our past while seeking out cutting edge art. It showcases local community organizations and the region’s natural beauty while featuring ethnic food and musical acts. It is a large event yet gives people the opportunity to have intimate contact with artists. This piece attempts to distill those contradictions into a visually appealing design. Another problem was finding a design that could work as a poster and as a program book cover simultaneously—the design had to be basic enough to be printed large as a poster, yet convey enough information to be a book cover.
How has your submission successfully impacted your organization’s ability to solve this issue/problem?
This piece successfully portrays our goal of bringing the world to our rural community to educate and enrich our residents, creating tolerance, acceptance and understanding of other cultures. The design intentionally echoes graffiti art—one of the more popular attractions of the Festival is the Urban Art Experience. Upon its inception, the Urban Art Experience was initially viewed by some community members as a potentially negative influence for youth. However, through educational demonstrations of the art form, the community has come to embrace urban art for what it is, a viable, complicated and beautiful form of expression that can create dialogue between classes, races and ethnicities. That dialogue is just one example of how the Festival strives to build bridges and foster understanding in our community. Diversity in all its forms can be seen in the photographs chosen for the design.