WAREHAM – There are those who believe that art is ephemeral, its beauty exhilarating and transforming yet impermanent and transient in nature.
The Chalk Full-O-Fun Street Painting Festival, held annually since 2013, is a tribute to both the beauty of art and its transience.
In particular, when the chalk work adorning the sidewalk around City Hall on Saturday faced tropical downpours over the next two days.
But not an artist on Saturday seemed the least bit disturbed.
Fred Gillis has competed three times in the past with his nephew, but was solo this year because his nephew couldn’t get home from vacation on time.
He laughed when asked about the impermanence of art, especially outdoor chalk art the day before a major storm landed.
“It’s very temporary, but I don’t think we’ve ever seen our other works the next day. I think it’s still raining. We come back and look – ah – there are only footprints left. “
But they don’t mind, he says. It also didn’t affect his work this year, featuring a blue heron, a cranberry bog in full harvest, as well as individual berries and a heron taking flight.
Elizabeth Crisman, 19, said the art process was fun with a big smile. This may be his third participation. His approach was somewhat impressionistic this year. She said the subject was evolving. “I’m just going with this.”
Ten-year-old Max Velazquez painted characters and scenes from SpongeBob SquarePaints, but he also added a Wareham Gatemen logo. The inspiration behind it was simple – Max was a Gatemen drummer this year. This was Max’s second year at the Chalk Party.
It was Harley Taber’s freshman year, but it was a lot of fun. “I will definitely do it again.”
Harley’s painting was that of the web comic book character Terezi Pyrope, which made sense because of the character’s colors and vivid lines – and because the character eats chalk.
She DeMoss, 12, painted scenes from space, including brightly colored planets. It was his second year at the Chalk Festival.
Her sister Lauren, 9, who painted next door, was more of a Jackson Pollock approach.
“I splash paint,” she said.
Sisters Harper, 8, and Addy Monaghan, 6, painted alongside the DeMoss sisters. Addy’s work featured clouds and a rainbow as Harper still let her painting take shape in her mind. “I don’t really know what I’m working on yet,” she said, but the colors and the composition paired well.
12-year-old Liam Woods stood right outside the entrance to City Hall. He was working on an urban landscape.
This year’s featured artist was Rin Rezendes, who has been participating since 2017 and was said to have been the featured artist last year, but that event has been canceled due to COVID.
Rezendes had an idea for this year’s contribution that was over a year old. But Rezendes did not decide on another subject until last night. Rezendes is part of the Art on the Spot studio in Middleboro where the idea of the impermanence of art inspires no apprehension.
“We make chalk art and then we water it immediately after it’s done. It’s like letting go.
This year’s festival featured an additional event where people had the chance to meet author Aaron L. Polansky and Rezendes, who collaborated on the children’s book “Beyond Us: A True Story with Implications for All of Us”.
All proceeds from the sale and dedication of the book – $ 200 – will go to support the family of Dan McDonald of Carver who lost his battle with cancer on August 4. A GoFundMe account for the family has been created at https://bit.ly/2U6jLfy.
The book, published in 2019, focuses on diversity and the journey that has evolved for an artist (Rin) who used his passion to illustrate a book (Beyond Us), and make the world a better place. It is “a book on the book” and the power to give it to the next.
Chalk Full-O-Fun Street Painting Festival organizer Milly Burrows said they lucked out with the sunny weather on Saturday – “a sunny day between storms, couldn’t ask for better.” .
She said turnout was down a bit this year as people in low-lying areas bowed to prepare for the impending storm. The change of venue this year from Onset (due to work around the shell) to Town Hall may also have reduced turnout a bit as it was new to people. But, she added, it was ideal for artists and for those in attendance, with plenty of space – and a sidewalk for the canvas.
They could be back at Onset next year, she said.
Either way, this artistic endeavor will live on.