It began as just a shot in the dark, but then a little luck and a bit of goodwill turned into an all-wheel-drive utility van now dubbed the "Artmobile."
The Juneau Arts & Humanities Council's newly acquired vehicle, won in a raffle on January 16, will be used as a "gig van" for everything from transporting gear to and from galleries to moving sound equipment for a band's upcoming concert.
And according to Patricia Hull, a Juneau Arts & Humanities Council board member, it not only fills a large hole for the JAHC, but it also came about through a little good fortune.
"I just happened to be in the right place at the right time," she said.
And indeed she was. As an employee of Alaska Electric Light & Power Co., Hull decided to participate in the company's car raffle, which she said occurs every eight years when the company needs to get rid of aging vehicles.
"I thought, wow, that would be really great for the arts council. They could really use a van," Hull said.
To her surprise, she won the Chevrolet Astro, and "nearly for free."
Next came a phone call to Commercial Signs & Printing. Hull called just to inquire about the pricing for a logo. But what she heard surprised her. The owner, Daryl Miller, decided to donate the graphics.
"I think the graphics cost more than the van," she said.
But according to Aaron Elmore, a graphic designer with Commercial Signs & Printing, the donation was not out of the ordinary for the long-standing local business and was nothing less than a great fit.
"This was a chance to do some snazzy design work on a high-profile outfit. They were going to get a lot of joy out of this thing, and it was also a chance for us to get some production out there," he said.
As for the design, Elmore retained the existing dark body paint, worked up a large-scale design of the JAHC logo, did some color-matching and sent the comp over to the group for approval.
"They have a very recognizable emblem," Elmore said. "We just wanted to emphasis that, to make that the dominant (logo) on the vehicle, then make the color and text subordinate to that."
Now, with the JAHC "hands" stretching around the back half of the van, the group has not only a noticeable vehicle, they also have a tool Hull said "every arts group in town could use."