Coastal Arts Guild presents Nye Beach Banner Project founder

Artistic banners, like this banner painted by Jennifer Larsen, will be auctioned off to support arts education for youth on Nov. 10. (Courtesy photo)

Every year about this time, people are likely to notice some very artistic banners flying from lamp posts in Nye Beach. This year marks the 11th year that the project has raised funds to support local arts. On Nov. 7, at the CAG monthly luncheon, Veronica Lundell will be speaking about how the banner project started and how it has grown.   

The Coastal Arts Guild hosts a  monthly luncheon, held on the second floor of the Visual Arts Center in the Nye Beach turnaround. Doors open at 11 a.m. and the program begins at 11:30 a.m. with lunch following. Seating is limited, so call early for a reservation. 

It is stated in the Nye Beach Banner Booklet, “Our community is filled with artists, performers, teachers and small business owners who share the philosophy, ‘Art Awakens the Thoughtful Mind.’” 

Over 40 participating artists painted the banners this year that will be auctioned off on Nov. 10 at the Visual Arts Center. The funds raised this year will go to Arts Education for Youth through the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts. The project is run entirely by volunteers.

 The idea was originally to help people to identify where Nye Beach is within the town of Newport and to have a way to express the creative talents that are present here in an art center for the Oregon Coast. 

The project began in 2009 when Lundell and other Nye Beach merchants got together to find ways to help people to identify where Nye Beach is within the town of Newport and to have a way to express the creative talents that are present here in the art center for the Oregon Coast. Someone pointed out that the streetlights in Nye Beach were designed to hold decorative banners.  From there the idea developed into promoting this area and the creativity found here.  Artists submitted their designs and the first banners were hung in July of that year and taken down in time for the November auction, which raised $2,000 for the OCCA. It also provided us an opportunity to get to know one another through the artwork.

Lundell provides the artists with the blank canvas banners, which is fabricated from paint tarps. Participating artists are asked to depict some aspect or element of Nye Beach life that resonates with them. On the reverse, most paint a thought-provoking or smile-inducing quote. More than simply identifying an area, the banners reflect the character and spirit of this unique neighborhood. Lundell marvels at how far the project has come and how it has achieved its goal of pulling the Nye Beach neighborhood together and helping its artists express their creativity. 

The Coastal Arts Guild is a volunteer program that staffs the Visual Arts Center gallery and serves the arts community of Lincoln County. CAG welcomes new members and there is no membership fee. For additional information and an invitation to attend their monthly luncheon and program, call Mary Holt at 541-765-4599.