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“Your Design Here”

COZAD — The Cozad Development Corporation is looking for five more artists who want to decorate one of their 20 Giant Art Palettes. Working with a sponsor, artists can create whatever design they choose, the palettes will be displayed throughout high traffic areas in Cozad in 2019.

“This is a project I have been working on since I started at the CDC,” said Executive Director Jennifer McKeone, “That was a year and half ago. The idea was to create something tourists would want to see, and to draw more people in to the town.”

The 20 palettes have already been made and each one has a sponsor. McKeone said each cost $500 to sponsor. After being displayed throughout Cozad in 2019 the palettes will be auctioned off. Sponsors of palettes will receive $500 credit toward the final purchase price. Artists will receive a $200 stipend plus one half of the final sales price.

Artists will submit their artwork to the CDC, which will be approved by a committee. McKeone said they did not want any business logo or overt political messages, just unique artists designs. Artists will work with the sponsors of the palette to create the final piece of artwork that will be on the display.

McKeone said some of the sponsors will want to work closely with the artists while others have decided to give their artists free rein. There are no requirements for what kind of artwork or materials that will be used. Anything from abstract, to landscapes or a scene can be applied however the artists want, they are not limited to traditional painting. McKeone said that one artist who has already signed up works with spray paint.

McKeone said the CDC wants to have the remaining artists registered by Friday, Oct. 12 and have all concepts sent in by Thursday, Oct. 25. She said that the displays will be finished by February 2019.

Eustis Body Shop will apply clear coating to each of the displays so that they can survive outside and Paulsen Inc. is creating bases for each so that no one runs off with one, said McKeone.

The art palette was chosen to celebrate Cozad’s art history, with the Robert Henri museum being a key example of that tradition, said McKeone. Many local artists still have ties to Cozad she added.

When asked about Cozad’s growing downtown, McKeone said, “It has been a concentrated effort by all groups. We initially started with a grant through the City of Cozad. It takes more than one group working at this and it is a cumulative effort and partnerships that make it happen. I have often said that the downtown is the heart of the community and when it is happy and healthy, so is the rest of the town.”

Story by: Brian Neben | Lexch.com

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