Congratulations, RiaG — this could be the start of something big.
The Local is thrilled & proud to announce our cover artist, Sheria Gregory, has been awarded a cash prize for her submission in ARTisPHL’s unique, multi-round program supporting high-quality, artist-driven and community-informed public art. “This is amazing!” she said, “Thank you everyone for believing in me!”
Applicants were asked to share their ideas on the theme of “Engagement.” Ria’s concept was customized honor boxes for The Local, designed to represent 12 different neighborhoods, with a window showcasing her latest cover illustration. “People can engage with the box as art and also local papers are engaging on a different level,” she explains in her project description.
The fun thing about this win for Ria is, a year ago she would’ve never imagined she’d be applying for an art grant. She submitted her first illustration to us last summer on a whim, and once we saw it on the cover of the paper, we couldn’t wait to sign her up for an extended run. Six months has turned into a year! Ria’s themes have only gotten deeper, her images more clever and compelling. The longer you look, the more you discover.
Naturally, we love her idea — we’ve been dreaming of custom honor boxes since we commandeered the abandoned Real Estate booklet stand outside our office on Chelten Ave. Now that the paper’s started reaching across the city, Ria’s stylized creations would be an incredible vehicle for new audiences to find us, and hopefully feel inspired by neighborhood voices they might otherwise never hear.
Twenty-nine winners were chosen, whose proposals now go before a distinguished Review Panel who will choose up to 10 projects to move forward to the last round where up to 3 winners will receive $30k each to implement their concepts. If all goes well, Ria’s Local paper outposts could soon be making neighbors smile every day — and intriguing them with a surprise every month when the new cover is revealed.
Ria’s bold, bright style will adapt well, we think, to the task of creating eye-catching boxes (as seen in other cities). Keep your fingers crossed, and your eyes peeled this October when Round Two winners will be announced. Go, RiaG! @captured.by.ria / capturedbyriag.com