The BayHawks, Erie Arts & Culture, and Green Mountain Energy have collaborated to make Green Week (March 19-25) extra special. Earlier this year, the three opened an unprecedented contest for local artists, photographers, and designers to show off their talent and highlight the importance of maintaining a green community. Creatives of all ages designed uniforms that they thought best represented a “Greener Erie.” The design was to incorporate recognizable elements of Erie, along with a depiction of what energy conservation and environmental sustainability mean in today’s age.
General McLane sophomore Kayley Berger is the first place winner of the team’s first-ever uniform design contest. Her design features Erie’s Bicentennial Tower and the Lakefront. “One of my favorite places to go in Erie with my family and my dog is the Bicentennial Tower, and that skyline is the inspiration for the design. The front depicts more of a night view, and the back reflects the brilliance of Presque Isle by day,” she said. “My Dad is an inspiration for me as well because he is a graphic designer.” Shadowing her are freshman Ellen Eisert in second place and art teacher Karen Hodas in third.
Hodas, the art teacher of Berger and Eisert, found out about the art contest through Superintendent Richard Scaletta after he shared it from the Erie Arts & Culture website. She felt her dedicated students would be the perfect fit for this project, although they were brand new to Graphic Design, having only begun their course about three weeks prior to the contest deadline. “I felt it would be an excellent way for them to dive into the project that is relevant to our community, and the graphic design concepts they were studying,” she said. “They worked hard learning the design programs as they designed for this contest.”
Second place winner Ellen Eisert’s design features the calming lake shoreline on a clear day. She says, “Growing up on a boat during the Summer, the shoreline of Erie has always been an inspiration to me. I take pride in our clean beaches and have even helped to pick up debris. Pride in a Green Erie is important to me.”
Third place winner Karen Hodas designed a uniform that features an orange sunset-backed Bicentennial Tower by the lake. “When I think about Erie, the iconic Bicentennial tower is the first landmark that comes to mind,” she said. “Our beautiful Erie sunsets were the inspiration for the coloring, and the swirls and leaves represent the wind power and fresh air of our Erie area.”
The BayHawks will face the Raptors 905 wearing their newly designed uniform on March 25. Afterward, the uniform will be auctioned to benefit a green community project to be determined. Erie Arts & Culture will have the other designs on display during the game. “We are proud to be a connector to the arts and cultural sector and highlight the talent in our community,” says Amanda Hurd, Marketing and Development Director of Erie Arts & Culture.
“My heart is bursting right now,” said Hodas. “I am so very proud of the all of the kids, and completely in shock that we had winners for this contest. I am most proud that all the students in the class worked hard to learn a brand new concept, in a limited amount of time, and produced some very competitive designs.” She said that many of the students were brand new to working with the computer software programs.
While the BayHawks have worn other unique uniforms, this design contest was a first for the team. “We wanted the contest to be an opportunity for community members of all ages to showcase their talents and celebrate our beautiful region while giving the winner the opportunity to have their work displayed in a big way,” said BayHawks team president Matt Bresee. “Kayley’s design was one of several that were quite impressive and met the criteria we were looking for.”
The March 25 game tips off at 7 pm and tickets can be purchased at the Erie Insurance Arena box office or online at ErieEvents.com.