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New sign is a cross-country gift

Inspiration for unique signs came from trip to east coast


When Estacada’s Gloria Polzin traveled to Pittsfield, Mass., five years ago, she couldn’t possibly have imagined the relationships and inspiration that would result.

When Polzin and her husband, Jerry, were in Pittsfield, they were enamored by a number of street signs they saw around town. These signs, however, weren’t your typical signs.

Designed by June Bisantz, an artist from the east coast, these signs aim to fit in with the average street sign, but with a far more intriguing message.

“My signs say something like, ‘play’, or ‘connect’, or ‘hello’, or ‘sit, rest, relax’,” Bisantz said. “I wanted to put messages around here and the natural way was outdoor signage because it could withstand the weather. Other artists have done this in guerrilla way, but my idea is to do it legitimately through the municipality and legitimately get art on the streets that way. It was intentional and also practical to make them look like street signs.”

Among the other projects Bisantz has completed is what appears to be a “push to cross” button at a crosswalk that actually claps for you when pressed.

“The basis for my work is to repurpose things that exist in public space,” she said. “Street signs, in a way, were the simplest expression of that.”

With all of these signs as her inspiration, Polzin returned from Pittsfield with the dream of bringing similar signs to the streets of Estacada.

“We were inspired and came home and wanted to do the same thing on a shoestring,” Polzin said. “That’s when our art group put up signs around town that say, ‘imagine’, ‘be here now’ and ‘silly walks here’.”

When Bisantz got word that Polzin came back to Estacada with a dream of replicating what she had seen in Pittsfield, she knew she needed to be a part of it.

“She got in touch with me and said she wanted to do a project, but Estacada is much different than Pittsfield, which is more urband,” Bisantz said. “I love the idea of her bringing it across the country, though, sort of like the Johnny Appleseed of the art world.”

In honor of their unique connection, Bisantz sent a sign to Polzin as a gift and a token of her appreciation.

The new sign, which reads “connect”, is at the crosswalk between the high school and the stadium. Other signs around town are on Broadway, at the end of Wade St., at Wade Creek Park, behind the library and at the top of the hill that overlooks downtown.

“I find it so exciting that someone else would do this, because I would like to see these signs all across the country,” Bisantz said. “And I wouldn’t be surprised if it did.”

For more information on Bisantz and her work, visit junebisantz.com.



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