Jack Banning, one of the owners of the year-old cafe and a resident of Pine Plains, announced a contest to create a giant mural on the highly-visible clapboarded side facade of their building (built in 1859) in the heart of the charming hamlet. “The contest is open to any and all artists (or groups of artists) who would like to submit a proposal to design and install the mural. This is your canvas,” he said, ” a chance to create something meaningful both for our town and for your career, as it is so highly visible.”
Banning and his wife, Irene, own the building as well as the cafe, which is managed by chef Kelley Jefferson, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. “We have no idea what people might come up with for this project; it just has to be related in some way to Pine Plains and cannot be construed as advertising. It could be something far out, or it could be something very simple. We just hope that the entrants spend some time thinking about the history of Pine Plains and of this corner of Dutchess County. We are confident that there will be many wonderful ideas,” Irene said, adding, “We will try to get the word out to as many local artists and teachers as we can that this opportunity is there. The winner could be a group of students at the High School, a local art teacher, a practicing graphic designer or sign painter, or a fine artist resident in the area. We’ll even be talking to art dealers in New York City who might represent an established artist looking to do something unusual. We’re open to just about any idea that might be forthcoming.”
The contest will carry a stipend of $1,000.00 for the successful design which will be installed by the artist(s) in the late Spring of 2013. The sponsors will also underwrite the cost of scaffolding for the installation. Entries will be judged by a jury consisting of Jack Banning, Don Peck of Peck’s market whose parking lot faces the facade; Pine Plains Town Council Member Sandra David; Joan Osofsky, the owner of Hammertown Barn; well-known artist Tony Henneberg; Thayer Durell, co-owner of TLC Antiques located in the hamlet; Andrea Bartolomeo, a recent graduate of Pine Plains High School; and Patricia Jean, who is the co-owner with her husband Chef Michel Jean of The Stissing House Restaurant located across the street from the cafe.
Don Peck, the third generation Pine Plains businessman, said “I’m excited that Jack and Irene have suggested this idea. It could really be a great addition to our town. Who knows? People may say, ‘Oh, sure, Pine Plains, that’s the town with that really cool mural’.”
There is no particular format required for submissions -a simple sketch on graph paper will suffice – and anyone interested in submitting an idea for the project should, after visiting the site, contact Jack Banning at Black Sheep Hill Farm. He can be reached by phone at 518-771-3069 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Banning reminds potential participants that this will wind up being a substantial project with many hours spent on a scaffold to complete the installation.