Wednesday, August 13, 2014

hometown tourist: chalk fest 2014

"That's me in the corner . . ."

Probably the nerdiest entry; I included Dr. Who eating fish sticks with custard, the TARDIS, the Cat in the Hat, Truffula Trees, and one of the bear kids from Hop on Pop hopping on a Dalek.
Awhile back, some folks started a local organization dedicated to displaying art in the windows of empty office buildings and retail spaces. It paid off big time, aiding in the downtown revitalization effort in downtown Eugene. Honestly, if you haven't been in this area in a few years, you will absolutely not recognize it today. Voodoo Donuts, the Barn Light, Sizzle Pie, Bijou Metro, Off the Waffle, First National Taphouse, food carts on Kesey Square . . . all within a couple of blocks, where buildings stood empty for years.

So the group responsible for helping to get the ball rolling by beautifying windows with local art went through a name change. Originally the Eugene Storefront Art Project, they are now the Eugene Springfield Art Project, keeping the acronym but expanding their scope. And this past Friday, they hosted the first ever Chalk Fest in downtown Springfield.

This artist worked quickly. I don't think this took her more than three or four hours.

Abstract fields of color, a portrait, and some math that doesn't add up.

Springfield, Eugene's conjoined sister-city, has been undergoing its own downtown renaissance in recent years, and things are definitely looking up. I feel like anytime Willamalane Parks and Recreation hosts an event downtown, for example, people are being encouraged to venture out, and the arrivals of a local arts charter high school, Sprout Food Hub (a farmer's market in an abandoned church), a state-of-the-art performing arts center (the Wildish Theater) , Plank Town Brewery, and the Washburne Café are excellent starts. If someone will just (please, please) buy the defunct Jim's Landing and do something amazing with it, the area could really be a destination. (I'd buy it myself, but $630,000 is a little out of my range, even with the apartment rentals on the top floor.)

The woman next to me wetted her chalk and was very painterly in her approach.

Kids got in on the action, too!

ESAP is pretty new at event hosting, so there were a few confusing scheduling changes. In the end, though, we made it to the right place at the right time, and some fantastic chalk art came out of it.

Third Prize Winner

First Prize Winner

If you're in the area and want to drive by, the art will be there until it washes away in the rain or gets rubbed away by tires. Find it on Main Street in Springfield in the public parking area between the Emerald Art Center and the Springfield Museum. And if you want more information about any of the artists, you can contact ESAP. You can also hop over to their Facebook page to see more photos from this event, as the Mr. and I didn't manage to photograph all of them.

One of two bee-themed pieces.

Adventure Time!