By Grace Cozzi
At Batavia High school, three student designs were chosen as banners to hang through Batavia’s Main Street. Kathleen Tieri Ton, the teacher of the accelerated graphics class, said that the banner ideas were introduced three years ago when the assistant director of Batavia High School approached her to have a project displayed in the town. The students were recognized by the Batavia Council last week. Having this project designed by the Batavia Main Street organization help students get an opportunity to have there work showcased to the town civilians.
The banners will be put up depending on the seasons they are based on. Spring banners will be displayed in the beginning of February and come down in May. Summer banners will go up in may once spring banners come down in May until August. Fall banners will be displayed in the beginning of August until November. All three banners the students created will be displayed for over a two year period.
The BHS students designs were chosen for the downtown banners throughout Batavia Main Street. They were said to really excel at examining Batavia as a community. The students didn’t just have their designs to be symbols of Batavia, but have a feeling of the community as a whole.
“I think the students really excel at examining Batavia as a community and bringing into their designs not just symbols of Batavia – like bulldogs and windmills – but feelings of the community.The students interview family members, research town history, and reflect on their own feelings about the community,” Kathleen Tieri Ton said.
But while this may be a great starting point for the students to create the banners, it took some time for their ideas and inspiration to be made into these great pieces.
“The Banner Project takes about a month from beginning to end. There is a lot of research, planning, and critiquing in addition to the actual design work the students complete,” Tieri Ton said. “The banners represent at least a month’s worth of work, and the winning designs take even more as they refine and prepare their work for production.”
The Mayor, Jeff Schielke, even made some specific comments about how wonderfully these students captured the spirit and character of Batavia in their designs.
“It always feels wonderful for the work of our students to get recognition and praise – especially from someone like Mayor Schielke,” Tieri Ton said. “I think it is a wonderful experience for the students to know and hear that their skills and work has a place in the community, and that it is something that they can take into their futures.”
The students willing to create something with symbolism and character has really showed how much this Batavia community is holding itself together with people willing to seek out the beautiful aspects into there pieces.
“Batavia has some very prominent symbolism – the river, Bulldogs, windmills,” Tieri Ton said. “So while that is helpful in a lot of ways because it gives you a lot of work with visually, it can also make things difficult because you still want to be unique. I always try to push them to really reflect on what those symbols represent, and what they miss that is wonderful about our town. So the idea can be difficult! But I am always so proud of the perspectives, compositions, and feelings that the students convey about Batavia in their designs,” said graphics teacher Kathleen Tieri Ton.