LB’S NOTE: People keep asking why Gwen the Beautiful and I moved all the way up to the Northwestern Tip of the United States after so many years in L.A. The following article is a fine example:
Local illustrator’s poster features powerful message
by Carmen Jaramillo
With summer events canceled en masse, once vibrant and colorful bulletin boards around Port Townsend now sit mostly empty.
Before the pandemic, real estate on local bulletin boards was at a premium; today it’s a buyers market. Rose Burt, local artist and illustrator, said she hopes her “Attention Citizen!” poster can bring some beauty back into these empty spaces.
Burt’s now-iconic design features what she calls an earth goddess named “Gaia Antonia,” who brings important messages of resilience to the people of Port Townsend.
The first design, which began circulating in June, features a masked and tan woman with flowing black-blue hair and a crown of flowers. She is holding a bouquet of vegetables in one arm and proudly displaying the other in a raised fist.
Burt revisited the design when protests calling for racial justice in policing began to sweep the nation and the local community. Revising the poster digitally, Burt added the words “Black Lives Matter” across the top of the and gave the goddess the scales of justice.
The posters can be found displayed in shop windows and on bulletin boards in Uptown and downtown Port Townsend.
The project started as the brainchild of local author and publisher Arendt Speser, Burt said. Speser commissioned Burt, whom he frequently works with for his publishing company, Andante Books, to create a design for a public service announcement pamphlet series titled “Attention Citizen!”
The goal was simple; a colorful image with very little text that would serve as a call to action.
The first version, titled “Our Lady of the Rona,” was designed to promote mask wearing and was originally intended to be a part of the Jeffco Cares initiative by the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce.
Then Speser began to print and distribute the posters….