Best in Show, Dogwood Arts Chalk Walk, Market Square and Krutch Park, Knoxville, April 2023
There are basically two moments to photograph the drawings from the annual Dogwood Arts Chalk Walk: the evening it ends or the morning after. In the first case, it is maddening to fight the crowds, but the work is at its freshest. The following morning (early), the crowds are gone, making the work easier, but the works may be degraded. By that afternoon, many of them are damaged beyond being worth photographing.
This year was different than some others, in that Big Ears was the same weekend. For me, this meant that Saturday afternoon was out of the question, leaving early Sunday, before the shows started, as my only option. And so, I arrived at about 8:00 am Sunday morning, camera and step ladder in hand. Even then, some damage had been done.
Water from something at the north end of the square had sent rivulets across a number of the drawings there. Plants had been watered, streaming across others. Mostly, they were ok. One loss by waiting overnight was that many of the name tags had been removed, resulting in probably fewer than half of the drawings presented here with labels. Mistakes may have been made, but I did my best.
In one respect, I was happy the two events occupied the same weekend. Our city was on display to the world and this event says we value art and we’re engaged in making it. We could be known for worse.
I’ve chosen some of my favorites to present in full size, but the entire collection of 101 photos are included below. Just click on the thumbnail and you’ll see a full size version of the work. Maybe you’ll find your favorites below. You’ll find a complete list of the winners here.