Legendary Art and Artists Surround the Arizona Centennial CampaignAugust 24, 2011
The Daily Courier
Monday, August 01, 2011
What becomes a legend most? Sometimes it’s not the event, but the art and images that surround it.
While the Arizona Centennial is forever embedded in history, the art that communicates the countdown-to-100-years Celebrate the Arizona Experience campaign is also dazzling on its own.
It’s a visual depiction of the history, people, cultures and landscapes that define Arizona, created by Arizona design firm P.S. Studios, integrating the works of second generation Arizona artist Frank Ybarra. (In fact, the cover of this supplement is a retrofit of an Ybarra painting.)
Karen Churchard, executive director of the Arizona Centennial Commission and 2012 Foundation, also was an instrumental guiding light in the campaign. She quickly gravitated to the words and especially Ybarra’s images and how P.S. Studios refined their juxtaposition to communicate the essence of Arizona’s spirit of rugged individualism.
“The art spoke volumes about Arizona, without being stereotypical,” said Churchard. “Add the fact that Frank is a second generation Arizonan and it all fit together beautifully. We are delighted and fortunate to have the guidance of a designer like Peter who is renowned in his own right. And he’s right here in Arizona.”
Indeed, Shikany’s team is the one that developed the brand visuals for illy espresso, and continues that work today, as well the break-out imagery for the Musical Instrument Museum in north Phoenix, among many others.
Said Ybarra: “I had developed illustrations for them [P.S. Studios] a few years ago. So I was honored when I received their call. They wanted to incorporate four of my paintings into the Centennial campaign: one of the Grand Canyon; a desert scene; one of San Xavier Mission and another of Tovrea Castle.”
As for Celebrate the Arizona Experience, there is no creative iteration off limits in the campaign: billboards, posters, print and online advertising, banners, flags, street signage, TV commercials, radio spots, brochures, fundraising presentation folders – even the Arizona Centennial commemorative license plate, now under review by state officials.
Walking the streets of Prescott, be sure to catch a glimpse of the street banners. Driving the highways of Arizona, take note of an amazing billboard or two. And, of course, within the confines of this commemorative special section, take a look, and keep it. In a few short days, it will be a defining piece of history – a legend on its own.