Sunday, September 24, 2006

We live in a great town. I suppose it is technically a city. We have somewhere in the neighborhood of 80,000 residents. The western border is the Pacific Ocean. To the north, east and south you simply cross a street and your in the next town. Still it feels like a small community here. There is a lot of civic pride, support for the schools, the arts and even public art, which during the 90's was a hot bed topic. We are willing, and do, close our streets at the drop of a hat in order to host events that support the community or bring people to it. We have a marathon in the winter, a world-class 5-K event in the spring, twice a year we have a one-day craft fair that is the largest in the state. During other times there are small antique shows, the twice weekly farmer's market. Today was 'ArtSplash!'
This annual event raises money for the arts in the public schools. A street is closed off, freshly coated with whatever the stuff is to make it nice and black and area merchants and businesses buy a piece of the street. Various artists work over the two day event to bring these chalk drawings to life. It is really something to see.
The artists are happy to talk to you while they work and usually have portfolios of previous drawings they have done. It's a little sad to me that they work so hard to make something so wonderful and tomorrow commuters will be driving right over their work.
This year there were several pieces that must be viewed from a certain spot in order to get the proper perspective. Because they want you to get the best view, the artists marked the best view spot with tape. These are fun to look at, but they seem to look much better in the photos than they did in real life.
Hubby and I favor the self-portrait drawings, like the first photo, and recreating old world paintings such as the 3rd photo. This year included several undersea-scapes, mermaids and a few fantasy pieces. There is also an area where regular people can purchase a small square and have a try. We haven't gotten the nerve yet. Maybe someday - after some practice on the patio. I love sidewalk chalk and Hubby is quite talented when it comes to drawing.
This last photo is the view from ArtSplash to the ocean. We were on a hill just a little over a mile from the beach. We were lucky to have 'Chamber of Commerce' weather today - no fog and no clouds. Posted by Picasa

13 comments:

jpquilter said...

those chalk artists are amazing - we have an art fair here in the summer and there are chalk artists scattered around town - thanks for the pictures - Juliann

Finn said...

Hi Libby, what fun!!! I've never heard of this practice. Might be it's more of a CA thing...or maybe just larger cities?
It looks wonderful..!! The chalk drawings are soooo well done and just gorgeous. It does seem a shame that they are so temporary, but I suppose that is true in much of Nature's art also.
Each unique snowflaking falling, an individual, but so quickly part of the masses.
The view of the ocean is breathtaking also..sounds like a fun weekend. Hugs, Finn

Sue said...

Hi Libby,
Someone sent me an email several months ago with these chalk drawings from a street fair. There is such talent there. I'd love to see that in person sometime! Your view of the ocean is wonderful. We're about 1 hour from the ocean where we live. (Still close enough to visit often!!)
:-)

May Britt said...

So fun to see. My DD just showed me yesterday on the net some photos of chalk paintings on a road that was absolutely amazing. I guess it does not rain very much when they can do this paintings during days.

Screen Door said...

The chalk canvas a beautiful. I love the way they blend colors. Some people get all the talent. I would love to be able to do something like that. I think they should do chalk pictures of quilts too.
Melanie

Linda_J said...

Libby, this was as fun as looking at the sand castles in BC, CA near Norma!! What fun and thanks so much for sharing about your city's festival. Love the view of the ocean.

Dawn said...

Oh fun pictures. Did you ever see those pictures like the first one of the guy who paints the sidewalks in Europe that are so 3 dimensional? I'll have to dig those up....

Fiona said...

It must be great to live near the ocean. At least the chalk artists are drawing on the actual pavements. Sometimes they have them here but I have seen them unroll a sheet of canvas and stick it to the pavement with duct tape so they can roll it up afterwards and take it on to the next place - seems a bit like cheating doesn't it!

Judy said...

I had the hardest time realizing that the lady in chalk wasn't real! And the pool looks like is dips right down into the ground!! These are really great!

Across the water from us in VA beach, they have the most amazing sand sculpture contests!

Nancy said...

The drawings you've shown are amazing! I can't imagine putting that much work into a painting to know it will be destroyed the next day.

Terri said...

You know you could be describing where I live! I too live in southern california and have the ocean at my front door. We also have an area where I can never tell if I'm in one "city" or the other 2. We also have street fairs in one place or the other every time I turn around. In fact we just has an antique street fair last week. There's a huge military community here and the cities show a lot of support.

Cynthia said...

how clever some people are being able to draw something with chalk. It reminded me of the movie "Mary Poppins" where her friend Bert also draws on pavement with chalk.

Shelina said...

They do that here in our city too. It is a lot of fun to watch, isn't it. I haven't actually gone to see them, so I didn't realize that they played with perspective like that where you had to watch from a particular angle. neat!