If you hadn’t yet noticed, Alpine Bank’s newest annual calendar is especially lively as the bank, founded in Carbondale in January 1973, approaches its 50th anniversary.
Sopris Sun readers will instantly recognize the whimsical imaginings of artist Larry Day gracing the calendar’s 12 pages with playful color. For every month of the year, a different location where Alpine Bank does business is highlighted. Iconic features of each place are caricatured and a little guide names them. “It becomes like a game,” said Day: a proper scavenger hunt.
Carlos Ulloa Jaquez, Alpine Bank’s graphic designer, approached Day after seeing his work in The Sopris Sun and on the 50th Mountain Fair poster. In similar fashion, with Alpine Bank’s long-standing tradition of handing out free calendars, Ulloa Jaquez wanted to do something special for the bank’s 50th anniversary.
He brought a copy of The Sopris Sun and a Mountain Fair t-shirt to his associates and said, “How about we do something like this? And do one for every town; the icons we’ll try to portray are what makes each town unique,” including nonprofits that the bank supports. Needless to say, it was a hit.
“We met one afternoon at Dos Gringos,” said Day. “Carlos presented the idea and I thought, that’s pretty amazing.” Having moved to Carbondale in 2019 from Illinois, Day didn’t know enough about all the places to do it on his own, so Ulloa Jaquez recruited Alpine Bank branch managers from across the state to compile a list of icons. He also supplied Day with references to draw from, like websites and photographs.
“Not so much to tell Larry what to do, but to inspire him,” explained Ulloa Jaquez. “He never took anything I gave him literally,” which was the intention. “He put in his touch.”
Day drafted pencil sketches which went back to branch managers for feedback. “Luckily everyone really understood Larry’s concept,” said Ulloa Jaquez. “Sometimes artists get inspired and go way abstract in their thinking,” with the whole animal kingdom residing in Colorado, for instance, “but everyone got the humor.”
One common denominator from page to page is the signature Alpine Bank pen, used by a different character each month to scrawl the location’s name. Ulloa Jaquez hopes that people will learn about previously unknown things in Colorado and feel inspired to explore new places.
It took Day all summer to complete the project. The calendars are now available for free at any of Alpine Bank’s locations, including its newest branches in Colorado Springs and Fort Collins. But act fast, only 17,000 copies were printed. The bank is negotiating to purchase Day’s 11-by-13-inch originals for display in its respective branches and you can view the project online at www.alpinebank.com/wallcalendar
Coffee mugs, t-shirts and other items with Day’s work are for sale at The Launchpad’s holiday market through December. See more of his work at larrydayillustration.com and larrydayfineart.com