Roundup resident sells T-shirts for public art

2014-08-04T00:00:00Z 2014-08-04T17:37:03Z Roundup resident sells T-shirts for public artBy CHRIS CIOFFI ccioffi@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

Roundup. Coila Evans loves Roundup.

“I think it’s a charming place to live,” Evans said. “I think people forget how charming it is.”

To prove how much she loves the town of about 1,800 residents, the artist painted “I love Roundup” on a wall in front of her home, a converted storefront on Main Street.

The design is simple. It consists of only four symbols - the letter “I,” a heart, a circle and an arrow pointing up.

Evans, an oil painter by trade, has been using the symbol for almost 10 years with her art businesses. The simple design brags to others about where she is from, while providing a cohesive symbol used to identify her work.

“Branding is so important in so many ways,” she said “I think it grows a real sense of ownership and pride.”

This summer she decided to share in the sense of pride she has in her community, by getting T-shirts screen-printed for other residents to purchase.

“I have sold quite a few, approximately 70,” she said. “I’m going to place an order for an additional 15 or 20.”

Proceeds from the T-shirt sales will go back into creating art to sell displaying the symbol, and some will go to creating more public art in the Roundup community.

“I’m going to save it and reinvest it in more products,” she said.

She recently purchased a storefront at 119 Main St. and plans to operate her massage studio out of the back of the shop. It will have space for locally produced products and art in the front.

“You walk into my store and you will see my products, and I want to have an extension of Montana artists,” she said. Her goal is to have the store stocked by the annual Roundup Christmas Stroll, which typically happens at the beginning of December.

Her first public art project is still in the works, and will be a mural depicting the history of Roundup in silhouette, she said. “I would like to put a historical timeline of Roundup on the side of the building.”

She hopes to get art students and Roundup residents together to come up with the design before its painted on the wall. The hope is to get others excited about public art, which could spur future projects.

“I think having public art will help our community grow in a positive way,” she said. “I think it brings communities together and helps promote awareness.”

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