SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. -     The call went out and artists answered.  Did
they ever!  The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration is proud to
announce the winner of its art contest to design the new street banners that
will fly proudly throughout the historic Celebration Grounds.
    Shelbyville native Mike Whitney, now of St. Louis, MO, came out on top
of the nearly 50 entries received from interested artists from coast to
   I gave it my best shot but, frankly, I'm still a bit stunned that one
of my designs was chosen, said Whitney. I'm very much looking forward to
seeing it waving over the showgrounds.The contest was open to all ages and abilities.
    Several artists provided multiple entries to the contest.  Early this
week, all of the entries were displayed and were numbered.  The judging
panel reviewed all of the entries and turned in their top five choices.
Points were awarded and one of Whitney's five entries garnered the most
    I was very pleasantly surprised at the number and quality of entries we
received, said Chip Walters, Celebration Director of Public and Media
Relations.  We had entries turned in from Washington, D.C. to Laguna Beach,
CA and all points in between.
    Entries were judged on quality of design, creativity, theme and message,
and reproducibility.
    This contest was further proof that The Celebration means so much to so
many people, said Celebration CEO Ron Thomas.  ³It was very difficult to
choose just one out of so many wonderful pieces of work.  The time and
effort each one of the artists put into their entries is very much
appreciated.Whitney said the project was a labor of love.
  For many years I have thought it would be exciting to create some
design graphics for The Celebration in Shelbyville.  After the many, many
times I have visited the The Celebration, I guess I had a lot of ideas and
imagery kind of stored up in my head, waiting to be used for something.
When the chance to participate in this banner design competition came along,
it was anatural outlet for some of those ideas.  I gave it my best shot but,
frankly, I'm still a bit stunned that one of my designs was chosen.
    Mr. Whitney grew up in Shelbyville and graduated from Central High
School.  He received his higher education at Washington University in St.
Louis, and has lived in that city since 1976.  During the past twenty years
he has worked for numerous advertising and graphic design agencies in St.
Louis. He is currently self-employed as Whitney Design Works, LLC, where he
performs a wide variety of creative functions, including logo design,
advertising, sales promotion, web design and more.  He is married to his
wife of fourteen years, Susie. They have a 4-year-old named Leanne and two
boxers, Titus and Roxie.  His parents, Iris and Lee Whitney, still live in
Shelbyville in the house where Mr. Whitney grew up.
    Production of the new banners will begin almost immediately.  They are
scheduled to be installed and flying prior to the National Trainers' Show in
late March.