Arlington Public Art

Arlington Public Art
  • Art by Sarah Peterson, One of the 2020 Youth Banner Winners

Youth Banner Project 2121

Each year since 2016, teens living or attending school in Arlington have been invited to submit designs for banners. The Youth Banner Initiative encourages development in the visual arts and offers an opportunity for students in grades 6 to 12 to be part of Arlington’s public art programming. Funding is provided by the Gracie James Foundation in memory of Gracie James, a talented Arlington High School student who found solace and joy in the arts.
The theme for 2021 is PROTEST: LIFTING VOICES. Social, environmental, and economic justice, protection of our earth and its creatures are all possible. But your artwork can be about what matters to you the most, how you can use your voice for change and what things you wish to protect and speak out for.
A jury will select 20 artworks based on the following:
  • Thoughtful interpretation of the theme
  • Readability (since banners are viewed from a distance, we are looking for images that are bold and not overly detailed.)
  • Craftsmanship
  • Originality
Students will be notified at the end of December. Artworks will be printed on vinyl banners, and hung along Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington Center in the spring of 2021. Three  students will be selected by the jury to each receive a $200 scholarship prize.  New this yearPeople’s Choice Award to be voted on, tallied, and announced at the spring reception.
Questions? Contact Adria Arch at


  • Students may submit only one entry
  • 2 panels each 12”H x 4”W (for a total of 12” H x 8”W). The  composition can be across the two panels.
  • Any two-dimensional medium (painting, drawing, collage, photography, printmaking)
  • Write your name, email, school, grade, and teacher on the back
  • Submit your hard copy artwork and completed application form to:
    Arlington High School
    869 Massachusetts Ave.
    Arlington, MA 02476
    ATTENTION: Dave Ardito
Entry Deadline: Friday, December 18, 2020 

Youth Banners 2020

Last year, 95 students submitted artwork to the Youth Banner Initiative, and 20 designs were selected to be printed as banners and hung on light poles along Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington Center. Three Arlington based panelists juried the artwork, including artists Pinal Maniar, Karen McCarthy, and the new Executive Director of Arlington Center for the Arts Tom Formicola. The group reviewed the artwork based on two criteria: creative interpretation of the theme “cycles” and readability of the image (since banners are viewed from a distance).

A reception to celebrate all participants was held in April during Arlington High School’s annual art show. At that time, three scholarship winners and a People’s Choice winner were announced.

The printed banners typically are hung in early April. The previous years’ banners are repurposed into beautiful and useful totes and will be available for purchase. The Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture administers the initiative, and Kaitlin Longmire is the program’s coordinator. We are grateful to Visual Arts Department head David Ardito, and all of the wonderful art teachers at the high school and middle school, for making this program so successful by encouraging their students to create and submit artwork.
The committee chose images by the following 20 students:

2020 Youth Banner Art

Sean Molloy Annika Benn Eben Negro Lillian Forney Ilana Cooke Jane Commons Grace Weinstein Ella Henson Eliot Hughes Claire Grant Callyn Murphy Stella Wong Zoë Miller Austin Cronin Toni Mueller Caroline Kenneally Martha Smilovitz Sarah Peterson Anna Hornak Sonia Erbe

Photos from Previous Winners of the Youth Banner Project

Kai Hazard Finneas Avery Roels Kiley Prunty Cristina Nayeli Castillo Anouk Lebrun Anoushka Oke Jennifer Park Sean Bradley Ben Rennella Luca Wessel Norah Conti Mila Popovic David Delaney Charlotte Cheung Micaela Morse Zoe Pappas Emma Davison Nina McNinch Caroline Kenneally Ann Vaudo