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Valley Junction CoSign businesses revealed


West Des Moines, IA (July 18, 2017) — CoSign, a creative place-making project developed by the American Sign Museum, is officially underway in Historic Valley Junction. CoSign brings together local business owners with artists and professional sign fabricators to create unique signage in designated business districts. Recently, ten business/artist teams were selected to have their signs move on to fabrication in Historic Valley Junction.
In January, Historic Valley Junction was selected as one of two communities nationally where the CoSign project will be implemented in 2017. The CoSign project is a collaboration among the Historic Valley Junction Foundation, American Sign Museum, City of West Des Moines, Polk County Board of Supervisors, Main Street Iowa, Bravo Greater Des Moines, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and the local community. The purpose of the project is to design and install a critical mass of new business signage in the Valley Junction business district to increase economic activity in the area. The signage will be created by a unique partnership of teams consisting of a small business owner, a visual artist, and a professional sign fabricator, all coordinated through the leadership and expertise of the Historic Valley Junction Foundation. CoSign emphasizes collaboration between local entities — all parties involved are from the greater Des Moines metro area.
The goals of the CoSign project are: Educate and employ artists on how to design exterior signage with its layers of city regulation, fabrication/installation logistics, and durability issues; create high profile signs for businesses and new opportunities for local artists; educate small businesses on the importance of signage communication to increase sales.
Work began on the CoSign project in May, when a call to artists and businesses was released. Originally more than 30 artists and 20 businesses in Historic Valley Junction applied. Artists submitted 77 designs for the participating businesses, which were narrowed down to one design per business. Artist and business owner teams then worked together at the Rapid Prototyping Blitz in June to refine their designs to move on to jury review.
A jury of local experts and stakeholders reviewed designs, and selected ten to move on to fabrication. The majority of the cost of the signs are being funded by the Historic Valley Junction Foundation, and each selected artist receives a $1,000 stipend for their work. The ten business owner and artist teams are: 2AU Limited – Tyler Jessen, AOK Antiques – Leah Ripperger, Cindy’s Boutique – Tom Hyde, Dressmakers – Leah Ripperger, Inspired Grounds – Tom Hyde, MōMere – Tom Hyde, OL Guild – Tyler Jessen, The Quilt Block – Leah Ripperger, Vino209 Wine Café – Cory Sharp, and Wines of Iowa – Leah Ripperger.  CoSigns will be revealed publicly at the October 6 Gallery Night.
The Historic Valley Junction Foundation (HVJF) is a 501c3 non-profit with a mission to inspire and enhance the evolution of the original Historic Valley Junction district by: Preserving and sharing our history, attracting and supporting small businesses, and engaging and connecting the community. 
Historic Valley Junction is six blocks of specialty shops that include art galleries, antique shops, fashion boutiques, salons, service businesses and restaurants. For more information on Valley Junction or event details, visit www.valleyjunction.com or call (515) 222-3642.

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