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United airlines had a wonderful big idea. A contest for women artists to paint an airplane. 


Here is the script of my video and my design submission:


As an artist I look for the elements, the lines that connect us all. Land - agriculture – food - connect us. Air connects us. And water connects us. Those elements inspire me and this design.


Fly over NY state and NJ and what do you see? Fields and forests and water. Cities that grew because of water. The Atlantic coasts of NY City and its bustling islands, the beach coasts of NJ, up the Hudson to the canals that lead to the Finger Lakes of Upstate NY. And finally, the Niagara River, the roar of Niagara Falls and the Great Lakes of Western NY. One can fly the blue skies or, one can traverse from NY city to Buffalo New York by blue water.


Connection is a Big Idea. Water, its connection to life and its importance to our region deserves a big platform – a United airplane platform.


This design starts with the Great Lakes and Niagara in United Blue. On large scale, Niagara Falls should be white. And that small bit of Canada shown near the nose is in Pantone Cool Gray. I’ve used Premium Purple to follow the canals to the Finger Lakes tracing up to Lake Champlain and down the Hudson River. You will find the land of NY, Long Island and the New Jersey coasts in Pacific Blue. The deep Atlantic is Atlantic Amethyst, and a thin line of Sky Blue runs along the top of the plane. Each component is emphasized with a crisp black line.


I’m Michelle Marcotte, an artist in Lewiston NY, along the Niagara River. I’m an exhibiting member of the Buffalo Society of Artists and the Buffalo Niagara Art Association. I paint land, agriculture, food and water. And in doing so, I paint life.

Women are 51% of all artists but we are under-represented in museums and collections. Women artists need art collectors to look up, way up and see that women hold up half the sky.    


Thank you.