Anyone who has visited Montana Avenue since June 25 will have noticed a series of new colorful banners highlighting “Shop – Dine – Enjoy” activities for this 10-block stretch of unique and mostly independent businesses which are owned and/or staffed by local residents.
The Montana Avenue Merchants Association, one of four Business Improvement Districts in Santa Monica, decided this is the most cost effective and eye-catching way to quickly enhance the overall appearance of the street.
Additionally, they qualified for a $2,000 street beautification grant from Santa Monica’s Buy Local organization provided that the Buy Local logo is prominently displayed and that the artist chosen to design the banners was a resident of Santa Monica.
“Shop – Dine – Enjoy” was chosen as the concept because the mix of merchants on Montana consists of high-end clothing and jewelry boutiques, restaurants and coffee shops, and hair and nail salons and skincare spas. And even if shopping is not your thing, strolling up and down Montana Avenue with friends, family, and/or dog is also a great way to spend the day.
The Montana Avenue Merchants Association board received several applications from local artists and selected Gonen Yacov, a Santa Monica and Montana Avenue resident and co-founder of GY Creative Studio, to conceptualize and design the imagery for the Montana Avenue banner project.
Gonen is active in Santa Monica’s artist community and is an annual participant in the Montana Avenue Artwalk and Music Festival.
Gonen has also worked with the Pico Improvement Organization on branding and design projects, as well as several of Santa Monica’s neighborhood groups.