Exploring and Encouraging a Healthy Life Marked with Joy

Sidewalk Happiness

chalk

Listen up.

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Last Saturday afternoon thousands of folks (including yours truly) meandered through Savannah’s Forsyth Park with heads laid low.  Not because we were all forlorn … quite the opposite.  We were all looking down–amazed!–at the park’s sidewalks, sidewalks covered with incredible, just-created chalk art.

It seems that sidewalk art is old, ancient even, dating back to the 16th century in Europe (they had sidewalks then?!).  When I think of chalk + art, I think of what I do when I’m bored on the driveway:

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(In this piece, my goal was “happy and exuberant but confidently well grounded.”  Yes?  Work?)

The artists (several hundred) made the Savannah College of Art and Design’s 32nd Annual Sidewalk Arts Festival an event that kept me open-mouthed for over an hour.  (Usually only Leopold’s can do that.)  (Okay, Jen, maybe Riverstreet Sweets too.)

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Armed with a colorful box of chalk …

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… and a numbered sidewalk square …

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… the art students, portraitists, watercolorists, landscapists, muralists, miniaturists, illustrators, caricaturists and cartoonists went to work.

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Here’s Renuka Adhav, a delightful and talented BFA painting student from SCAD Atlanta, whom I met before she started on her piece:

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Here I am holding her chalk (I’m not sure why).

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A couple of hours later I returned to Renuka’s spot, finding her and … THIS:

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Oh.  My.  Gosh.  And guess what?  Renuka won Second Place for Individual Student entry!  Congrats–you go girl!

(I’m starting a new business called “Believe Me!  I Can Pick the Winner Before They’re the Winner!”  Contact me at 1-800-NealNos for details, pricing and availability.)

As I walked around, I kept having to remind myself that these paintings were drawn on fairly Rough Concrete, for goodness’ sake, with Big Pieces of Chalk.

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Can you believe the quality of these paintings?!

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One fascinating sidebar at the festival … the über cool Yarn Bombing.  What?  You’ve never heard of yarn bombing?  Hmm.  Okay, neither had I.  When one plucky young art student tried to explain it to me, I kept interrupting her and asking, bewildered, “Yard Barbie?  Huh?  I don’t see her.”  And, “What?  Yard Bobbing?  Like apples?”

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According to always reliable source Wikipedia, yard bombing (aka yarnstorming, guerrilla knitting, urban knitting or graffiti knitting) “is a type of graffiti or street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted yarn or fibre rather than paint or chalk.”

Well yarn bombing showed up all over Forsyth Park.  And it covered objects, such as light poles, trash cans, tree trunks/branches and world-famous bloggers’ heads.

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What a fun Saturday afternoon.  Thanks to SCAD’s Sidewalk Arts Festival for helping me to sink a little deeper into local art.

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