South Portland student's work adorns city EVs

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SOUTH PORTLAND — A logo designed by a South Portland High School senior will be displayed on the side of the city’s electric vehicles. 

The opportunity was presented to Jasper Erickson and his Advanced Art classmates last November by City Manager Jim Gailey, who wanted a logo for South Portland’s two electric vehicles (soon to be four, if the proposed fiscal 2016 budget is approved).

“I gave them the parameters of where it would be located, and I said we want to keep it oriented to the city of South Portland, so that when someone looks at this car, they know its from the city of South Portland, that this vehicle is different form any other vehicle,” Gailey said Thursday morning. 

“I thought it would be a good way of bringing students into the process, as I believe that the world of sustainability should be community wide, and not just a few people at City Hall deciding what things should look like.”

Erickson said he researched electric vehicles and charging stations before deciding to incorporate a charging station cord plugging into the words “South Portland,” followed by the the words “Plugs In.”

Erickson, whose father, Todd Erickson, is a member of the city’s Energy and Recycling Committee, noted that the choice of his design to represent the city’s green initiative is “a little bit fitting.”

“I do share a lot of the same viewpoints of renewable energy and the purchasing of electric cars for the city,” Erickson said. 

Gailey said he picked Erickson’s design because it “brought some creativity about the electric car itself,” and it integrated well with the existing city logo.

“It was different, but it was close to what we had,” he said. 

Erickson said he plans to study Fine Art at the University of Southern Maine for a year before applying to more tailored programs, like the Savannah College of Art and Design’s Interactive Media Design program. 

He’s interested in pursuing a career in video-game concept art. 

Erickson also plays trombone in the school band, bass guitar in his spare time, and volunteers at the Parks and Recreation Department after-school program.

He said he also enjoys working on his car and is in the process of drafting a comic, inspired in part by some of his favorite graphic novels: the “Scott Pilgrim” series by Bryan Lee O’Malley, and “Wanted,” by Mark Millar. 

The setting for his comic is a hybrid of Portland and Hong Kong. 

“I feel like a hipster who says I’m working on my movie script or my rock opera,” the 18-year-old said. 

There’s no compensation from the city for his EV logo, but that’s doesn’t bother him.

“It’s a little self-gratifying that my art will be shown throughout the city for a long time,” Erickson said. “Having my art on the cars for as long as they have them is reward enough.”

Alex Acquisto can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or Follow Alex on Twitter: @AcquistoA

Sidebar Elements

Jasper Erickson, 18, a senior at South Portland High School, sketched the logo selected for the city’s electric vehicles.

Jasper Erickson’s logo for South Portland’s municipally owned electric vehicles.

South Portland and Scarborough reporter for The Forecaster. Graduate of Western Kentucky University and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Alex can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106.