Banners to raise funds for library, local art

The 68 banners that recently went up in downtown Brentwood have helped beautify the area and showcase the work of local artists.

And when they come down, they will continue to be part of the community by being auctioned off to help raise funds for public art in the city’s future library as part of the “Banner Up!” program run by Art Guild of the Delta. The program turns into a great fundraiser for the arts,” said Brentwood City Manager Gus Vina.

Art Guild of the Delta members and East County residents created the artworks, which will be affixed to light poles on Chestnut, 1st, Oak and 2nd streets and at City Park until early September. The banners will be auctioned at a Sept. 29 gala at the Brentwood Community Center.

Half of the funds raised will be returned to the artists whose banners sell, while the other half will be given to the Brentwood Library Foundation to install public art at the city’s new library, said Mary Lamb, Art Guild of the Delta co-founder. “We are pretty excited about (funds going to the library),” Lamb said. “The banner project is public art. Here is a nice bridge to the art that will be in the public library.”

The program, which was launched by the City of Brentwood and handed off to Art Guild of the Delta, was inspired by a similar program in the San Diego County town of Encinitas, Vina said.The open call to artists was answered by Art Guild of the Delta members and residents of Antioch, Oakley and Pittsburg. The only requirement was that the art had to be family friendly. Seven banners were created by Los Medanos College art students and another seven by Liberty High School artists.

“It was a nice surprise to see what a variety of folks we had when they came to pick up their banners,” Lamb said.

Banner artist Jordan Kim, whose banner features an array of butterflies in various shades of blue, said the chance to participate was a unique opportunity. “I’ve never done something that big before, so it was a bit of challenge,” she said.

Fellow artist Daniel Martinez, whose banner depicts a Japanese-style fire koi, said he was thrilled to showcase his work. “I’ve had this idea for a while and thought, ‘Why don’t I do it on this banner?’” he said. “It’s a perfect format going up and down. It turned out really good.”

Although it’s too early to estimate how much money the program will raise, the similar Encinitas program – featuring 101 banners hung downtown along Highway 101 – has generated around $50,000 to $60,000 in some years, Vina said.

Vina and Lamb agree that it’s likely the program will continue in Brentwood for years to come. Art Guild of the Delta has already crafted grant proposals in the hope of garnering funds to continue the program next year.

“You’ll see the (Brentwood) program grow, because the more people hear about it, the more activity there is going to be,” Vina said.

It’s expected the banners will be removed and restored to their original condition prior to being auctioned off, Lamb said. The banners’ auction price will begin at $100.

The gala and auction is slated for Sept. 29, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Brentwood Community Center.

To view banner photos and their general locations, visit

Source: Brentwood Press, July 14, 2017

Updated: July 14, 2017