You may have noticed new banners on select light posts throughout Downtown Kenosha recently.
The banners were commissioned by the Lakeshore Business Improvement District (BID) to highlight all the things that the Downtown area has to offer.
Local artist, Elishai Riley, created the visual concepts.
“Back in 2020, I had the chance encounter with Backyard Dream Production’s producer, Ken Stouffer,” said Riley.”I showed him various graphic creations of mine, one of which was Kenosha-themed. In this graphic titled Kenosha Strong, I created a peace sign hidden within the composition of the North Pier Lighthouse and two united hands.”
This graphic seemingly started a reaction! Stuffer connected Riley to his colleague, Alex Kudrna. Kudrna held the position of Chair of the Lakeshore BID at the time. As some might say, the rest is history.
The board talked about a banner project, and a talented artist had been handed to them.
“I was directed by the City Council to sketch what represents Kenosha. So, I drew up the most iconic concepts that I could possibly think of,” Riley shared.
Approximately 12 different ideas were drawn, six of which (that you see today) were chosen.
With those approved concepts, drawings were layered directly into Adobe Illustrator and patched together to create a vector-version of the original artwork. After some fine tuning, the banners were ready to come to life.
When Riley was asked about his inspiration and passion for his hometown, he expressed,
“Kenosha really has so much, and gives so much!
From our charming lakeside views, the unyielding warmth from our community, top-tier food, and more. Our city embodies a haven where one’s spirit can find resonance and solace. I am grateful to call Kenosha my hometown.
Check out the banners along with the beautiful flower baskets and gentle glowing lights on posts throughout Downtown next time you visit!
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(This article first appeared in Vol 16. #3 2023 Go Downtown Kenosha Magazine)