Augusta’s Poster Show

By Aimee Serafin
Cover poster by Leonard “Porkchop” Zimmerman

In late spring 2021, as Covid restrictions were ebbing and people started to venture outside, one local artist felt compelled to start something new to help the community. North Augusta native Jason Craig had an idea about how to rejuvenate the community through an art exhibit. The exhibit would feature captivating posters inspired by Augusta’s history and culture. 

Craig put out and received an overwhelming response of entries, which he whittled down to 30 selections of local and national artists and graphic designers with ties to the Garden City. That July, Craig presented the inaugural Augusta Poster Show at SRP Park’s Wow! Club to a standing-room-only audience. The event was an instant hit.

 “The show was originally created to reinvigorate Augusta following the challenging 2020 COVID-19 pandemic,” Craig says. “There was such an overwhelming response that I knew then that it would not be a one-time event.”

Now, two years later, Craig has organized the second juried poster competition and the response from the entry call was equally popular, yielding more than 60 submissions.  “I am always eager to see the [poster] designs once they come in. This year the themes were even stronger, and many had a Garden-city focus,” he explains. “I like seeing all the different perspectives of the artists.”

One new element of the 2023 Augusta Poster Show is its collaboration with Augusta magazine for this arts issue. Members of our magazine staff met with Craig to view a complete set of preliminary posters, printed by Phoenix Printing Group, to then choose the first-ever Augusta Magazine Choice award.

Poster by Cait Maloney, Augusta Magazine’s Choice award-winning poster.
Poster by Cait Maloney, Augusta Magazine’s Choice award-winning poster.

After deliberation, Cait Maloney’s Funkwich Number One rose to the surface due to its multi-layered distinction. Maloney managed to capture several old and new motifs of the Garden City such as the sandwich city, the Peach State, pimento cheese, pink azaleas, oldie records, music roots and a golf ball and tee tucked ingeniously in the squishy bottom layer. Maloney lives in Columbia, S.C., but she has always admired the art scene in Augusta and she is an avid social media follower of Augusta artists, including Craig. 

“From my frequent trips [to Augusta], I was able to pull from my knowledge of the city for the poster. I knew most people would get the Masters references of the pimento cheese and the azaleas,” she said. “And, originally, I tried to make the bread slices in the shape of James Brown’s hair, but it didn’t translate, so I stuck to the iconic microphone and lightening shocks.”

Poster by Gabe Marshall, Runner Up.

Another notable poster was that of our runner-up Gabe Marshall. Marshall’s meticulously detailed poster was chock-full of downtown Augusta’s legendary establishments, showcased by his slick and calibrated design. His deft ability to “hide right in the open” so many of Augusta’s icons was mind-blowing.

Photo of Jason Craig by Chris Thelen.

Jason Craig’s contributions to organizations such as the Greater Augusta Arts Council, Westobou and ArtZilla have left an indelible mark on Augusta’s cultural landscape. He was honored as the first recipient of the prestigious Kath Girdler Engler Award for Public Art. Craig’s national portfolio boasts collaborations with notable entities like the Atlanta Braves, Nike and HBO. His Augusta Poster Show exhibit will run every two years.

As seen in the August/September 2023 issue of Augusta magazine.

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