Smith & Weiland surveyors and engineers, Clarksdale.

Home » Daily News Updates » Airport hangar roof art contest results announced: everybody won! Airport hangar roof art contest results announced: everybody won!

"Blues Land" to become the roof of the Clarksdale airport hangar.

Ten individuals submitted some 27 different pieces of art for the airport roof painting contest. Because so many of the submissions were so terrific, and such fun, it took a while for the airport officials involved in the contest to go through all of it, and make their selection. (some of the designs follow below)

The contest was created by Red Panther Aero, and it turned out that none of the 27 designs that submitted were submitted were selected, but each of the ten individuals that made submissions into the contest actually won the prize.  Each will receive a check for $100 for their entry (please email with your mailing address).

The selection that will become the painting on the airport roof is “Blues Land” shown above.  This came as a surprise here;”Blues Land” was provided by ClarksdaleNews as an example to guide interest in the project.

Even though ‘art’ is always at the eye of the beholder, Red Panther certainly saw “better art” in the array of submissions, the “Blues Land” selection was made for a number of other reasons:  (1) it personifies where and who we are, (2) it is consistent with and further brands Clarksdale to our global audience, (3) it is significantly more visible from the air, and (4) it is less complex reproduce on the expansive football-field-plus size of the airport hangar roof.

Because this was the selection, the first place prize of $1,000 is waived, and each of the ten submitting artists shall receive their share of first place instead.

Marketing / Branding:

The original Hollywood sign.

The original Hollywood sign.

“Blues Land” also somewhat echoes the famous “Hollywood” sign.  In its original form on the hill overlooking Los Angeles, the sign actually read “Hollywood Land.” A thought is this can add back-story to “Blues Land,” and further stir press interest, coverage and stories about our this-is-what-we’re-known-for effort.

It is the intention of Red Panther that this is seen as a large, distinctive addition to Clarksdale’s current branding as the land where the blues and rock n’ roll began.  It is understood that this is something that Tourism and local clubs and merchants can use, and that many forms of collateral, such as photos, posters, t-shirts, social media sharing and other forms of attraction will be often produced.

As soon as the actual painting starts, the process will be documented with still, drone and aircraft photography, and the photographs and videos that come from it will be available for the press, news outlets, Tourism and anyone else with interest.

Painting the Roof

Plans are for the painting to start in late Spring.  Once the roof has been primed, ClarksdaleNews assumes that a cad program will layout the design lettering to scale.  It will certainly be interesting fun to see and document the process.

Because of the slant of the roof, driver’s by will be able to see a small portion of the roof while passing by, and it may be possible from time to time for folks to be guided onto the roof for a real hands-on look at “Blues Land.”

The Submissions:

The following are some of the submitted designs:

George Hunt:

George Hunt design for Clarksdale airport hangar roof.








From acclaimed Southern artist George Hunt, this is the favorite of all submitted designs. It was not selected because of difficulty to produce, and it would not have been as visible from, say, 20,000 feet, or from a distant satellite image from Google Earth.

Lauren Fondren:

Lauren Fondren design for the Clarksdale airport hangar roof.







Lauren Fondren submitted 10 different designs.  All intriguing, this was a favorite, and it was not selected because it would less visible from altitude.  Had it been selected, the copy would have likely been changed to “runway to the blues.”

John Stiles:






This is one of  two wonderful submissions from Delta State University assistant professor, John K. Stiles (the other was a King Kong like gorilla atop our iconic water tower).  This too was not selected because of production complexity, and visual distinction from altitude.  ClarksdaleNews believes that both of his submissions might be of interest to anyone wanting to draw attention to Clarksdale.

Natasha Pittman:

Natasha Pittman design for Clarkdale airport hangar roof.








This fun, whimsical design was submitted by Natasha Pittman.  It too was much liked, but not selected because of production challenges and altitude visuals.

Kate McLaughlin:

Kate McGlaughlin design for Clarksdale airport hangar roof.






This submission from Kate McLaughlin is a lot of fun too, but was not selected for essentially the same thinking of the others: production and altitude visuals.

Richard Malcomb

Richard Malcomb design for Clarksdale airport hangar roof.








This was from Richard Malcomb was very close in concept and branding.  It too is essentially where we are. Production would not have been as much an issue as some of the others, but this would have been less visible at altitude than “Blues Land.”

Charnell Clay:

Charnell Clay design for Clarksdale airport hangar roof.








This too was whimsical and a lot of fun from Charnell Clay. It’s got great spirit, but not as visible from altitude.

Bryan Weems:

Bryan Weems design for Clarksdale airport hangar roof.








Well, graphic artist Bryan Weems pretty much nails who we are too, but from a different direction, huh?  He submitted 10 different design sketches as well.


Unknown design for Clarksdale airport hangar roof.






This design was submitted directly to Red Panther Aero, and we somehow lost who submitted it.  Since Fletcher Field is the actual name of the Clarksdale Coahoma County Airport, this design is certainly spot on, and likely would have been a strong possibility if Red Panther were not in a broader community branding state of mind.

If you submitted a design and are not found on this list, please email And all of you, please email your address so we can arrange for your consideration.

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Will the Ole Miss Confederate monument be moved?

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