Riverfront & Northshore Districts Displaying New Banners

  • Tuesday, April 23, 2024
River City Company announced a new program in August 2023 for community artists to assist with the redesign of the downtown banners across their districts. Over 50 artists applied for the Southside, Riverfront and Northshore Districts.

Officials said, "Since 2009, River City Company has operated the downtown banner program with the goal of welcoming downtown residents and visitors to the unique districts, along with serving as an effective tool to accentuate city streetscapes."

“The Riverfront District welcomes thousands of visitors each and every year during Spring Break.
We were excited to receive so many artist responses to help us refresh the district in time for the busy Spring season. Today, the banners highlight many of the signature features that are beloved in the Riverfront District,” said Emily Mack, president and CEO of River City Company.

Artist Jason Fouts shared via his artist statement, “The design highlights the Riverfront's active nightlife, events, tourism and nature aesthetic. The use of brush strokes conveys a sense of vibrance and excitement.”

The Riverfront banner refresh and the artist $1,500 stipend was made possible through donations by The Chattanooga Tourism Company, Riverfront Business & Resident Partnership and Wooden City. Additionally, many hours were contributed by the Senior Director, Office of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy with the City of Chattanooga, along with staff of the Tennessee Aquarium and Hunter Museum of American Art in reviewing the responses to the RFQ and the design submissions.

"We're excited to be a part of this riverfront banner project," said Barry White, president and CEO of Chattanooga Tourism Co. "It's not just about sprucing up. It's about connecting visitors and residents more closely with the heart of our city and region.”

The Northshore District announced new banners in early April 2024. The committee consisted of representatives from the Northshore Merchants Collective, City of Chattanooga, Chattanooga Tourism Company and River City Company who reviewed the proposals and designs. Selected for the district was artist Carolyn Muller.

"Her Northshore Banner encapsulates the essence and vibrancy of its locale," officials said.

"My goal was to weave together elements that truly represent the vibrant character and cultural landmarks of the area," Ms. Mueller said, "aiming to capture the distinctive charm and cultural richness of Northshore, using the language of design to convey this area's unique identity."

Set against Frazier Avenue's eclectic boutiques, the banner pays homage to Coolidge Park's iconic carousel and lively splash pad, central to Ms. Mueller's visual narrative.

The banner features a sun with a human-like visage, "symbolizing Northshore's theatrical vibrancy and infusing the piece with a sense of community and creativity."

"It’s a celebration of what makes Northshore so special, inviting viewers to experience the joy and beauty of this remarkable part of town," Ms. Mueller added.

Prominently, it also highlights “Cardboard Hill,” a favorite spot for grass-sledding.

"Children depicted sledding breathe life into the design, illustrating the simple pleasures and vibrant outdoor activities that define the Northshore experience," officals said. "Ms. Mueller's design not only celebrates but invites a deeper appreciation of Northshore's unique cultural landscape, enriching the community's visual and cultural narrative."

"In this continuous narrative of cityscape evolution, each banner adds a fresh chapter, intertwining the colorful strands of our various community identities. As we commemorate the unveiling of the third installment in this banner refresh, let us continue to embrace the transformative power of art to enrich our cityscape and evoke a deep sense of belonging," said Carmen Davis, senior director of the Office of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy for the City of Chattanooga.

The MLK District will be the next area for a Request for Qualifications to be released in May. City Center will also receive a refresh with a tentative timeline starting in December. More information about the banner program and how the community can donate to the program can be found here.
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