I spent Saturday afternoon wandering around Forsyth Park enjoying the annual Sidewalk Arts Festival. It was a ridiculously good-looking day: sunshine, throngs of people, dogs, bouncy things (for kids to play on)…overall happiness in the air.
I’ve been going to Sidewalk Arts just about every year since ’97 (my first Spring in Savannah), and I have to say that this is truly a wonderful event. The art is colorful and fun, tons of folks come out to enjoy it and there is a lot for kids to do which means it’s an ideal event for families. The ambiance is really the thing that makes it rock!
As usual there was some awesome artwork, like this:
Intense facial expression
Intenser facial expression
Too big to fit in the square but worth it!
I was highly impressed by this homemade rig, set up to capture the entire process in stop-motion style
I do have to say that when I was a student at SCAD the designs seemed much more ambitious. There were crazy 3D props incorporated into the squares…sometimes people were even incorporated (painted and styled to fit into the composition). I seem to recall a lot more conceptual work too. I would love to see some over-the-top creations again…some innovation…something unexpected.
Also, based on some common observations I make every year, I’ve taken the liberty to jot down a little list of helpful titbits for future participants:
1. Go with high-waisted pants or at least pick some good undies. I think you know why.
2. Get some knee pads…or strap some cushions to your knees. You’ll thank me in 10 years.
3. Leave the bikinis for the beach…trust me…you cannot control what’s happening to your situation while you work. I like the ready-to-hose-off concept, so perhaps a one-piece might be in order.
4. Have a plan, and prepare ahead of time. You can always tell the ones who lose confidence early on when they get overwhelmed.
5. Collaborate. Some of the best squares are joint projects between friends who get adjoining squares and do large compositions. Because this requires a lot of forethought, these tend to be better in general (see point #4)
6. Be on time. We can tell you got there late…your neighbors are making you look bad.
7. Take a few risks. Don’t be risqué, but remember you have an incredible opportunity in front of a large audience to show the power of art to provoke thought and emotion. Don’t waste it.
Well, my rambling aside, I had a great time with some dear friends. Here are a few more of my pictures. Can’t wait ’til next year!
I feel like this is a quintessential American image
This one is also going in that direction (let’s face it…the rolled shorts and sleeves are back!)
Students hard at work
An installation piece by faculty member Michael Jackson Chaney. There was no artist statement so I was not entirely sure what was going on, but it was cool!
And then there was this performance art piece. It was weird but strangely entertaining. I thought they were marshmallows, but found out later they were a strand of pearls.