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Mid Valley News: Eighth-grader designs new El Mercado logo

El Mercado del Valle has a new logo, thanks to Wy’east Middle School eighth-grader Jairo Munoz.

El Mercado del Valle — or “Valley Market” in English — is Gorge Grown Food Network’s newest farmers market, slated to open beginning June 21 in the covered basketball court area at Mid Valley Elementary School. The market will run every Saturday through Sept. 20 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

All that was missing was a market trademark, something easily recognizable for Gorge Grown market signs, posters, website and other promotional materials. And that’s where Wy’east students came into the picture.

Gorge Grown held an art contest at the school, encouraging students to submit a design “that reflected the vibrant culture of the Middle Valley and incorporated the theme of a healthy, local food system,” said market manager Anna Osborn. Munoz’s design, featuring a group of smiling vegetables, was chosen as the winning entry.

“Our hope is that, through this logo contest, the students of Wy’east are able to recognize their essential role in the creation of the Mercado, and feel connected to the Mercado itself,” explained Osborn.

Munoz’s drawing was sent to Andrew Osborn, a graphic designer in Portland, who turned the smiling vegetables into the Mercado’s new logo featuring a very happy pepper.

On June 7, Munoz met with Osborn via Skype. Munoz talked about how he came up with the design (he went online to research vegetables and thought of adding faces and texture), and Osborn walked him through the process of creating a logo from a sketch (“I always start with a pen and paper to sketch out ideas. It never starts great but keeps improving”).

Osborn said what he enjoyed most about Munoz’s design was how the faces on the vegetables represented the faces in the community.

Munoz wants to become a graphic artist himself, with the ultimate goal of designing video games. For now, he balances art with sports — he recently won first place in the 100-meter race at the district track meet, and also enjoys playing baseball.

“The logo came out really, really nice,” Munoz said at the end of the video conference. Osborn said that there will be another contest to name the pepper.

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