T-shirt designer has a lifelong history with July 4 in Mount Shasta

Steve Gerace
Bridget Shaw's design for the 2017 Mount Shasta 4th of July Run/Walk t-shirt.

Bridget Shaw enjoyed Mount Shasta’s 4th of July celebration so much as a child that she counted the days from Christmas to Independence Day.

This year she’ll have a few thousand additional reasons to celebrate because her artwork was chosen as the design for the 2017 Mount Shasta July 4th Fun Run/Walk t-shirt.

A 2010 Mount Shasta High School graduate, Bridget came back after earning a BA from Mills College in Oakland, where she studied studio art and psychology. Even when she was away for school, she never missed the Fourth in her home town.

She described the thought of seeing her creation worn by a throng of walkers and runners the morning of July 4th as surreal.

For an artist who does logo work and graphic design, she also sees it as “great exposure... walking PR” and, potentially, a “stepping stone” for her career.

Registration for the 36th annual Run/Walk in Mount Shasta will be held Tuesday morning before the event begins from 6:30 to 8 a.m. at Parker Plaza in downtown Mount Shasta. All who register will receive a t-shirt featuring Bridget’s design and will be entered into a drawing for a variety of prizes, including the grand prize: a white 2017 Subaru Impreza from Redding Subaru.

Bridget, who works full time at The Gallery in Mt. Shasta, said, “I remember looking forward to the shirt design every year, and it feels great to contribute to the tradition.”

She has many special memories of the town’s 4th of July celebration. She held the banner as a child for the parade award-winning DENSA marching band that included her parents and friends. When she got older, she was part of their parade entry.

The 4th of July was like “a family reunion holiday” around the Shaw home, which was close enough to town that you could hear Walk/Run founder Dr. Jim Parker making his early morning announcements from the Castle Street stage.

When she’s not at The Gallery these days, Bridget said she spends a lot of time creating art in the spare bedroom that serves as a studio in her home in Dunsmuir.

She describes her t-shirt design as having “a classic logo look.” It features Indian warrior wildflowers, the mountain, and two bursts of red, white and blue fireworks inside the line of a blue circle.

Bridget said she painted the mountain, flowers and fireworks with acrylics and created the circle, blue lines and text below the circle in Photoshop.

“I wanted to put fireworks in because that’s such a big part of the 4th of July,” she said. The flowers “mirrored the design of the fireworks.”

The design fits a description of Bridget’s art as being “characterized by strong lines, vivid colors and a recurring theme of nature and landscape.”

“There’s no shadow or shading,” she said.

Bridget also sees the design as representative of her artistic self – the two halves of which reflect traits she inherited from her parents, Jack Shaw and Marian Murphy-Shaw.

She said she gets her systematic approach to creating art from her mom, a former teacher and current Educational Services Director for Siskiyou County’s Office of Education.

Her artistic expressiveness, what Bridget calls “the full art avenue,” comes from her dad, a fine arts sculptor.

“Within the creative process, I’m meticulous and disciplined,” Bridget said. “The end result should be expressive, but I’m systematic in the way I build pieces. It’s a very structured process for me, working with the line and color relationships, back to front and side to side.”

She sees herself as “very much my parents’ child” and refers to her dad as “a huge influence” and “great resource” for her artistic endeavors.

She said she’s been helped along the way by good art teachers, including her Mills College professor Michael Hall and Janette Brown and Steve Nesheim at Mount Shasta High.

Janette Brown has also had her art featured on the July 4th Fun Run/Walk t-shirt.

Bridget’s art has been featured at The Gallery in Mt. Shasta and Siskiyou Arts Museum in Dunsmuir.

She said she’s grateful to be working in the arts field at The Gallery, where she started as an unpaid intern.

“Working with artists who come into The Gallery is a fun source of inspiration,” she said.

She also enjoys making contact with “young people in the community who identify as artists.”

Bridget is selling prints of her t-shirt design and other prints of her artwork on her new website: www.bridgetshawdesign.com.

Bridget Shaw