This is the time of year for festivals, many of which are smaller portions of the Dogwood Arts Festival. It’s hard to keep up with it all with only one article a day, so sometimes I have to backtrack a bit. The Dogwood Arts Chalk Walk takes place each April and features professional, amateur and just-for-fun sorts of artists. Anyone can sign up for a space and get chalking.
Awards are given out in a number of categories by age and by school. A “People’s Choice Award” is given and the awards are based on voting by the general public. You can see a complete list of winners here. Co-chaired by Kathy Slocum and Jim Dodson, it really is one of the most inspiring events of the year.
This year was a one day event with a nine-hour window for artists to finish their work, with the judging following immediately. I really enjoy seeing the beginning of the works and passing through a couple more times during the day before seeing the results at the end.
One of the difficulties with the Market Square location, which is the obvious choice, is that it becomes impossible to walk through or to see the drawings because of the large number of people. At times it is nearly impossible just to walk through. I would have loved to take photographs when the drawings were fresh, but it just wasn’t possible. I’m not sure of an alternative and I love having it in that spot, but it was almost impossible.
One of the results of the heavy foot-traffic on Market Square is that the drawings begin to deteriorate immediately. I’m happy to say there are some people who try to walk around the drawings even into the next day. Unfortunately, I also see many who walk across them without a thought.
Worse, this is the second year in a row that someone or some group has come by overnight on bicycles with the apparent idea that it would be fun to destroy as many of the works as possible. I don’t understand this kind of thinking. Maybe it is the same crowd that destroyed some of the flowers along Gay Street the night before Rossini or the ones who tag blank spaces downtown.
With just a little thought and decency the paintings could be enjoyed for two or three days. As it was, I took these photographs at 7:00 AM the next morning and they are pretty worn. My apologies to the artists for the poor representation. Also, I’m sorry I don’t know the names of the artists who drew each picture. I noted them when I knew.
Still, the event is spectacular, with thousands of people enjoying a lovely day with art. It’s an event that pulls in all ages and skill levels. Small children are given chalk to make their own drawings in the middle of the action. When the sun shines, as it did this year, there’s hardly a better way to spend a day.
I reduced my 180 photographs to less than 90. Still, it’s too much for one day. I’ll limit it to two and post only about half the photographs here, with these and the rest to be posted on my Facebook page. Go there later, “like” it if you haven’t already and enjoy even more photographs.