I am so excited to have submitted my first ever artist application to the Ithaca Festival! There are a handful of things in this world that I have always wanted to design something for: an album cover (check), a billboard, a wine and/or beer bottle label, and the Ithaca Festival button. I have always been enamored with the sense of tradition and lore that surrounds these buttons as people buy them every year and have collections dating back tot he beginning of the festival. Buying a button for a child or loved one is a token of love and respect. I have always wondered at the symbolism in the Ithaca community of having one's are achieve the status of being put on the Ithaca Festival button. Maybe I'm just looking for some confirmation that I've made it as an artist, but I like to think that I'm trying to find a way for my art to communicate more than just the importance of an single event or business. I wanted to use this opportunity to tell our story, the story of our community's past and the story that we are creating together as we proceed into the future.
This year's theme is Mix It Up! Ithaca has long been touted as a liberal, progressive, open-minded, and diversity-friendly community. However, in light of current national and global conversations about Black Lives Matter and other issues of racial, gender, socio-economic and all other forms of discrimination, I decided to the importance of this conversation as well as the Ithaca Festival's tradition of highlighting diverse cultures through music, art, and food. This was a fun piece despite many hours spent brainstorming my concept, sketching, and producing this draft design. The announcement is going to be made on Thursday!