You'll soon be seeing about 100 new banners going up on light poles all around Utica to highlight the unique culture and identity of the city. They'll celebrate everything from local landmarks and institutions to the history of the city and the region of Central New York we call home.

Utica Mayor Rob Palmieri this week conducted a press conference and unveiled some examples of the banners (seen above), featuring the art work of local artist Maria Vallese. As we head from May into June, you'll start seeing these banners on Genesee Street, the Parkway, Burrstone Road and other main thoroughfares in the Mohawk Valley.

The initiative is a joint partnership with CGI Communications and Community Showcase Banners.

Vallese is a talented iilustrator, and some of her other work is highlighted here on the Retro Sorrento website, her freelance website based in Clinton. You may recognize her art from Saranac beer labels and other projects. And she also works at Chester's Flower Shop & Greenhouses.

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