JCPRD Poster Project
The 2024 call for artists will open in January 2024.
About the Project
The JCPRD Public Art Program is embarking on a multi-year project that involves commissioning an annual series of posters of JCPRD parks, trails and facilities using the iconic and majestic style used by the Federal Art Project artists of the 1930s. In 2023, four local artists will be selected and assigned to illustrate a specific feature or attribute from the following parks: Big Bull Creek, Cedar Niles, Lexington Lake, and Shawnee Mission. Posters will be exhibited throughout the County and available for sale with proceeds benefiting the JCPRD Public Art Program.
The goals for the JCPRD Poster Project are to:
- Celebrate JCPRD parks, trails and facilities and the special attributes within them.
- Raise awareness of which parks, trails and facilities are part of the JCPRD system.
- Provide opportunities to commission and showcase Kansas City region artists and illustrators.
- Raise funds to support the JCPRD Public Art Program.
The JCPRD Poster Project Committee includes:
- Anne Blessing, Public Art Committee
- Carol Logan, Art Advocate
- Casey Wilhm, Chamber Community Advocate
- Craig Shafar, JCPRD NE Park Region Assistant Manager
- Mary Gage, Artist + Parks & Green Spaces Liaison
- Ryan Bell, JCPRD Fine Arts Coordinator
- Susan Mong, JCPRD Superintendent of Culture
- Jen Newell, non-voting, administrative support
About the Artists
Daniel Bartle is a visual artist based in Kansas City, where he has been practicing art professionally for more than twenty years. From architectural watercolor illustration to large-scale mural painting, Daniel's portfolio reflects an ever-striving approach to a life-long passion. His career has involved projects for many national franchises such as Disney, New York Yankees, LG, Kashi and AMC theaters. However, he's engaged in numerous projects as well with local companies such as The Roasterie, Donutology, Stockyards Brewery, Cafe Ca Phe and The Kansas City Royals. In addition to painting and illustration, his professional experience includes branding, 3D modeling and environmental design. Explore Daniel's work at www.lucidarts.net.
Artist Statement for Cedar Niles Park Poster
"Locating the ideal vantage point from which to compose my poster design was a delightful challenge. Cedar Niles Park comprises nearly 1,100 acres of dynamically varied landscape. It is a cornucopia of old forest trees, rocky bluffs and meandering creek beds. Sketchbook in hand, I committed to navigating the park on and off-trail in a sort of zig zag pattern, up and down hills through dense undergrowth, evaluating various angles of every tree, pond or bridge, in hopes of finding that one view that would embody the park's true character. Ultimately, the search for that one true character unveiled a theatrical ensemble of personality. I found adventurously fast paced mountain biking trails that wound up and down through trees along rocky outcroppings. Below them I met with the main trail, paved and gentle, cutting through beautiful meadows of tall native grasses. And then I ventured on down to the creek, for which the park is named, that snaked serenely beneath a canopy of beautiful tall trees. It was here that I set up with a small set of watercolors and gauche to put the scene down on paper. I was entranced by the sounds of the frogs and rustling leaves, interrupted only occasionally by the splash of a fish. The contrast between this creative process and that of my typical commercial projects is stark. Plein air painting is a passion with which I would normally only engage on my personal time. The opportunity to employ this skill in service of the Johnson County Parks and Rec department was a unique thrill. And though the final product did ultimately require being rendered in a digital format, I found that utilizing traditional methods to inform my final illustration helped in retaining my experience within the final product."
Tad Carpenter is a designer, author and New York Times best selling illustrator. Carpenter co-runs the graphic design and branding studio, Carpenter Collective with his wife, Jessica Carpenter where they focus on bringing powerful messages to life through branding, packaging, illustration and environmental design. They have worked with clients ranging from Target, Coca-Cola, Meta, Macy's, Old Navy, Conan O'Brien, Adobe and MTV among many others. Carpenter has also worked with numerous bands on posters and tour campaigns, including John Mayer, Bob Dylan, Radiohead, Paul McCartney and Dave Matthews Band to name a few. Carpenter has written and illustrated dozens of children's books in the marketplace today intended for adults and children of all ages.
Artist Statement for Big Bull Creek Park Poster
"It was an honor to participate in the first ever Johnson County Park & Recreation District Poster project. Looking past the obvious, close observations of the park was my goal. I wanted to engage with the park and its team to better understand what made this 2,060-acre park truly unique. So much of Big Bull Creek’s features are beautiful: obviously the rolling creek itself, Mildale Farm, the rolling oak and pine trees. But the larger than life abandoned silos and groups of meadowlarks chirping in the distance could be witnessed everywhere I turned. My goal is to inspire those who see this poster to visit the beautiful, vast Big Bull Creek Park and discover all the beauty it offers in expected and unusual places."
Graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute and Shawnee Kansas native, Michael Perry has always loved drawing and the outdoors. He continues to apply his creativity as a professional designer and art director during the days and freelance illustrator in the evenings. He lives happily in Parkville, Missouri with his wife, two kids and two derpy cats.
Artist Statement for Shawnee Mission Park Poster
"The WPA National Parks posters are widely beloved not simply because of the beauty of subject matter or the style of their design, but also for the sense of adventure and national pride that they elicit from us. We hope to solicit a similar feeling for our local parks. Growing up near Shawnee Mission Park, I was thrilled to be selected to illustrate this park in particular. Being so large and offering such a variety of activities made selecting only one image to represent the entire park quite challenging. We wanted to find a solution that is specific to this park, grandly iconic, and familiar to everyone. Shelter 4, being one of the older and more uniquely designed shelters, was an excellent candidate and coupling a sunset palette with reflected clouds over the lake felt like it electrified the image. My hope for this poster is that it sparks warmly nostalgic memories for anyone familiar with Shawnee Mission Park and serves as a compelling invitation for everyone to visit and make wonderful new memories there."
Luke Wittman is a graphic designer and illustrator from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and now living in Kansas City. He is a graduate of the Savannah Collect of Art and Design and currently works as a Product Designer for Charlie Hustle. Luke has also done work locally for J. Reiger & Co. Luke is passionate about art and nature, both of which have always been a huge part of his life and inspire him to be a more curious and dedicated person.
Artist Statement for Lexington Lake Park Poster
"It was a delight to be selected and to participate in the 2023 Johnson County Park & Recreation District's poster project. Lexington Lake Park, the project selected for me, is full of many wonders, and it was truly magical to work with. From the glistening lake, stone walls, and winding trails, it was a fun challenge to create a scene which captured it all. I landed on illustrating the actual lake itself, with the support of other subjects to bring the lake to life. The drifting fishing boat invites us in to look closer, and the decrepit stone wall tells a story of Kansas much long ago. Emulating the style of past WPA posters took much research and determination, but it was time well spent. I truly enjoyed creating this poster, and I hope it brings a similar feeling to the viewer."