As has become my custom, I struggled out of bed around 8:00 AM last Sunday morning to scurry to Market Square to see the chalk drawings before weather and foot-traffic obliterate them. It’s really impossible to see them on Saturday with the press of people. A glimpse or two between heads or bodies is the best you might hope for. I also had Rhythm n Blooms until 2:00 AM, so I couldn’t have seen them sooner.
That time of morning is a sweet spot for Market Square, generally. The brunch crowd won’t show up for another hour or more, and the same is true for the church crowd (two churches meet on Market Square). If there was no rain the night before and no one has maliciously destroyed the drawings (they have in previous years, but not so this year), they are in as good a shape as you can see them.
I’ll be honest and say that my first view left me under-whelmed. Those breath-taking drawings we’ve seen in the past just didn’t jump out and grab me this year. But then I edited them – I started out with two-hundred photographs of drawings and name tags and ended with just over 100 – and they grew on me. Some really are outstanding. It’s such a great event and I really do appreciate Dogwood Arts for continuing it.
A word on the editing: I’ve gotten better. The first time I wrote about it (I’ll let you search), I didn’t edit at all since I didn’t have any software nor did I know how to use it. I was using a point-and-shoot camera. Now I have a better camera, use Light Room to edit and I know an increasing amount of how to use it. That said, when I do vertical corrections, (which is how these photographs look like they are direct), some sacrifices are made in cropping and I hope I haven’t damaged the presentation of anyone’s art. If I have, chalk it up (:-)) to my lack of skill. I’m still working.
I would also have loved to give credit to every artist, but the names aren’t always attached to the art by the next day. If you see your art, feel free to tag it on FB or leave a comment here. Unlike previous years in which I tried to have every photograph on the website, I decided to be more selective this year and run one article as opposed to two or three as I have in the past.
I’m not saying these are the “best,” since I’m not qualified to do that, I’m just saying they were some of my favorites. I actually loved some I did not include here. We’ll just call these a “terrific twenty.” You’ll find the complete set on the Inside of Knoxville FB page later today or tomorrow. You can also find the list of winners here. It appears my judgement may be pretty good, after all.
Finally, I hope you are out enjoying the great events happening all around us. We got a few festivals down, now, but more are looming. Try to support the rich cultural thread that runs through our city.