2020: A New Vision of Darien’s Past and Future
The town received an early birthday present today with the unveiling of a new bicentennial logo, a collaborative effort of three Darien High School juniors.
“Your work will live on long after this celebration,” First Selectman Jayme Stevenson told the students after the logo was unveiled during a special meeting of the 2020 Bicentennial Subcommittee on Wednesday. “A hundred years from now, when the community is planning its next big celebration, they will look back to your work to see what was done during the bicentennial.”
Featuring a navy blue town map with a gold 200 in its center and set against a cerulean banner, the logo was designed by three high school juniors: Charlie Callery, Will Henry Harmon and Kelly Niederreither.
Earlier this year, the students submitted initial designs for the bicentennial logo contest, which was organized by the subcommittee under the leadership of Sarah Lexow Keena, who is coordinating bicentennial programs for the town’s youth.
West Bielstein, a graphic artist and 2014 graduate of Darien High School, worked with the students to create an electronic format of their design.
“This has been an outstanding effort by these three very talented high school students, and I’m so pleased with the final result,” said Lexow Keena. “The town is fortunate to have such a eye-catching and professional logo for its 200 birthday, and it’s really special that it was designed by our own high school students,” said Lexow Keena.
The state legislature granted a town charter in 1820, establishing this area as the independent Town of Darien. Prior to that, the area was part of Stamford and Norwalk and known as Middlesex Parish.
The 2020 Subcommittee is under the Monuments and Ceremonies Commission and is chaired by town resident Alan Miller. The subcommittee has been meeting since the summer of 2018 to discuss preliminary plans for the bicentennial celebration and is looking for volunteers to help with coordinating and planning the town-wide events.
“Now that we have our official logo, we will be planning informational sessions over the summer and fall to bring the whole community up to speed on what we’re planning for the town’s birthday next year,” Miller said. “We will need a lot of help to make this a year to remember.”
The 2020 subcommittee has been working on a special calendar of events and a town-wide Birthday Bash in June of 2020.
For the formal presentation of the logo, all three of the students wrote about their background, interests and why they got involved in the logo project:
My name is Charlie Callery. I am a 16-year resident of Darien and a junior at Darien High School. At the high school, I am a member of the National Honor Society and DECA, a business club. In addition, I play hockey and golf for the high school. Outside of school, I volunteer with Darien Youth Hockey, umpire Darien Little League games, and am a member of the St. Thomas More Youth Group. I have 2 siblings, an older sister who is a recent graduate of DHS who now attends Colby College, and a younger brother at Middlesex Middle School. As a huge fan of college and professional sports, I have developed an interest in their logos and emblems. I participated in this bicentennial project as a way to combine my interest in graphic design with an opportunity to honor my hometown – Darien.
Will Henry Harmon
My name is Will Henry Harmon and I have lived in Darien for 11 years. I am 17 years old and a current junior at Darien High School, where I am an active member of the National Honors Society, DECA business club, Math Honors Society, and Math Modeling Club. In addition, I will be a co-captain next season for the boy's varsity soccer team. In my spare time, I enjoy coaching youth sports at the Waterside School in Stamford and the Darien YMCA. Additionally, I work with the e-commerce team for Ring's End Lumber. I have two older sisters, Grace and Charlotte, who attend Colorado College and the University of Florida, respectively. The design of effective logos has always intrigued me, and I saw the Darien bicentennial logo competition as a great opportunity to put my ideas towards a worthy project.
My name is Kelly Niederreither and I have been a part of the Darien community my whole life. Darien for me is a place where I have been able to experiment with so many different interests and grow to discover what I am most passionate about. I have been able to play lacrosse and field hockey, but I have also been able to find my love for art and working with kids and other people. Definitely, as my high schools years went on I fanned out my interests and found I enjoyed more than just sports. The middle of sophomore year I pretty much completely shifted my interests, becoming involved in the many opportunities Darien had to offer that I had not considered: coaching, tutoring, counseling, etc. Junior year for me was a big year for my art. I began investing myself more into the hobby and found I actually enjoyed it!
I began taking classes in school and ended up submitting some of my pieces to competitions, and... safe to say I was happy with the results. The more I focused on my art, the more I wanted to do something with it - the 2020 logo design being a nice opportunity. I remember getting the form, and feeling eager to submit a great piece... and then completely forgetting about it until the night before the due date. Not taking into enough account that it was a logo design, I threw together all the first images and places I associated with Darien, and submitted the piece the next day. After dropping off my art I came home, read over the competition flyer for a “logo,” and thought great... I just submitted a literal collage of the town of Darien. Nevertheless, I got a second chance to work alongside the other submitters and individuals behind the contest. Moreover, I got the opportunity to try out a field of art I have never tried: graphic design. It was just another new field of interest that I was able to try and come to love.