For graphic designer Patty Kristy, all projects are important – she takes her work very seriously. But it takes on a whole new meaning when your work will be on display in the uptown core in your own community.

“I loved having the chance to work on this project for the BIA,” said Kristy, owner of Graphic Gourmet, “at a time when Leamington is redefining itself.”

“it’s easy focus on the economic blows this town has this town has had to endure in recent years,” she added, “but it’s only from focusing on our strengths and working as a community that Leamington will become the vibrant town it once was.”

Kelly Baillargeon, member of the Leamington BIA Board, said Kristy was hired to design images for banners to help beautify the uptown core for two main reasons – because it is important for the BIA to choose someone local – and Kristy has an excellent reputation and came highly recommended.

She said the board has been working on the huge undertaking for over a year in an attempt to beautify and revitalize the uptown core. She said the project involved countless hours from the volunteer board and a strong partnership with the municipality and the public works department.

She said their vision included the design of metal shields to adorn the uptown poles because of their longevity, cost effectiveness and wow factor.

This, she said, Kristy managed to capture perfectly. The banners were unveiled at the Leamington Arts Center last Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 4.

“Patty really captured what we envisioned as a board,” said Baillargeon, “she gave it life.”

Kristy said the banners are a means to celebrate and illustrate some of the unique and beautiful elements of the town – everything from monarch butterflies to ethnic diversity.

Having grown up in Leamington Kristy said, “There’s a certain charm to being able to walk down the streets of your childhood and see work that you’ve put your heart into, proudly on display through a series of bright, beautiful, visual reminders of the wonderful community we all share.”

Baillargeon said she expects the banners to be installed by the Public Works Department within the couple of weeks.

The banners, which all include the newly designed BIA logo, include:

  • Baltimore Oriole on Sassafras Branch; chosen for its distinctive beauty and familiarity to most, its summer presence in the area and the sassafras tree is a Carolinian species unique to this area.
  • Marina at Sunset: it encapsulates a classic sunset at the waterfront, with the additional beauty of a sailboat in the distance.
  • Fruits and Vegetables Cornucopia: shows the variety of fruits and vegetables grown locally, clearly represents both field and greenhouse farming, and includes a Leamington sunrise and a small Essex County silhouette as a ‘Locally Grown’ sign completes the image.
  • Monarch and Milkweed Plant: a symbol of Leamington, Monarch butterflies are known to migrate through the region, stopping over in Point Peele, and the municipality is focusing on an initiative to increase habitation/population through the planting of milkweed along the trails and in public gardens.
  • Welcome to Leamington: a sign which celebrates the diversity of community and languages spoken here, including Anishinaabe, the language of the Caldwell First Nations.
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