Growing up, artist Chris Bovey loved the Works Progress Administration’s iconic posters of national parks.
So when it came to a collaboration with the Spokane Parks and Recreation Department, he knew exactly where to turn for inspiration.
“They’re so classic Americana,” Bovey said. “Since Teddy Roosevelt founded the parks system and really pushed for national parks to be in the forefront. I’ve always admired them from afar. I wish I could do a whole massive park poster series, but I feel like they’ve already done it, but someone hasn’t done it here in Spokane.”
Spokane Parks and Recreation has teamed up with Bovey, known for his company Vintage Prints, to create prints inspired by 12 local parks: Manito Park, Riverfront Park, Camp Sekani, Audubon Park, Highbridge Park, Palisades Park, Edwidge Woldson Park, Cannon Hill Park, Coeur d’Alene Park, Corbin Park, People’s Park and Indian Canyon Park. He’ll use those prints for his 2021 calendar.
The calendar, which costs $14.95, is available at Atticus Coffee and Gifts and will be available for purchase at vintageprint.us starting this week. A portion of the calendar sales will go toward local park improvements.
Posters will be made of each image, and, in the near future, Bovey and Spokane Parks and Recreation hope to host a pop-up shop at Manito Park, complete with Bovey’s Vintage Print van, to officially release the posters.
It took Bovey about eight months to design all 12 images. The project started with Bovey and his wife visiting each of the parks and taking photos.
“I received an education from this because I didn’t really know a lot of these parks, like Edwidge Woldson Park,” Bovey said. “I honestly had no idea that was even there. You drive up the street toward the South Hill, and you pass by it, but it really is a gorgeous park, and that’s probably my favorite design out of the entire calendar.”
Bovey calls each park a hidden gem of the city and Parks and Recreation employees unsung heroes. He hopes each image, like his vintage Spokane prints, inspires local tourism.
While designing the posters, Bovey decided to try something different and use the park posters for his 2021 calendar instead of his more well-known images.
“It’s really worked out, and it’s kind of a gamble because it’s not the typical style I usually do,” he said. “I can always go back to the same next year.”
But if all goes well, Bovey could see many more park posters in his future.
“There is probably another dozen that I didn’t even get to,” he said. “If this thing really takes off, I would love to revisit them and keep doing them.”
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