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Laurie Niles

Temporary Art

June 22, 2009 at 10:57 PM

There's something life-affirming -- or maybe art-affirming --  about an event in which 600 artists conspire to create two city blocks full of chalk murals that are destined to be washed away in a matter of days.

I was actually picking up Chinese take-out for the family Sunday when I stumbled upon the 17th Annual Pasadena (Calif.) Chalk Festival at a nearby outdoor mall called Paseo Colorado. How impressive, I thought. And how crazy, to create all these beautiful images, which will be rained away, washed away, walked upon, leaving barely a trace after a matter of days. Then again, how like life. We may as well make the most colorful, beautiful mark we can, and enjoy it while it lasts.

(BTW these all will be washed away sometime tomorrow morning).

This one, "Let It Be," apparently won two awards: People's Choice and Best Technique:

I loved this peacock, and the way the light dappled over it late in the day:

I liked the sky here, and the hat:

A perfect image for Father's Day:

My son's favorite, the colorful tree frogs:

If you look closely, this little girl, around age two, has chalk in her hand (and all over her face!). She was helping color this in!

Here's a work in progress:

This was called "Fallen Angels," and after seeing these two little cherubs WAY too many times in WAY too many places, I just thought it was funny:

From Aasheeta Dimick
Posted on June 22, 2009 at 11:55 PM
These are stunning! I especially love the koi fish. I can't imagine being able to create art of such caliber, let alone allowing it to be washed away in days. Thanks for sharing these!
From Richard Hellinger
Posted on June 23, 2009 at 1:04 AM

These are just stunning! When I first saw your blog about this scrolling through Facebook I thought the "Let it Be" was actually on canvas.


Bravo to these artists.

From Michael Divino
Posted on June 23, 2009 at 3:56 AM

Nice pictures!

If we think about it, isn't live classical music temporary art?  I mean, yes the sheet music lives on to be played by someone else but each performance is its own thing, right?


:) my two cents.

From Laurie Niles
Posted on June 23, 2009 at 4:38 AM

So true; live music is just as fleeting. More so!

I took my son (who turns nine tomorrow) to see the chalk drawings this evening, and he was really inspired. Some of them were drawn to look three-dimensional. One of them asks the viewer to stand on a set of footsteps, cover one eye, then look for a three-dimensional effect. Cool! I wished I was Mary Poppins, and that I could grab my boy's hand and jump right in! But watching him take pictures of it was just about as good. :)

From David Beck
Posted on June 23, 2009 at 5:04 AM

 O.K. but I still wish I could carve a scroll.

From Ryan Frania
Posted on June 23, 2009 at 10:56 AM
Sidewalk chalk paintings are truely incredible. The quality of the composition is insanely great especially considering their large size. It is very difficult to draw accurate porportions and perspective.
From Jessica Paesel
Posted on June 23, 2009 at 11:45 AM
these are absolutely stunning! especially "let it be"...i am a HUGE beatles fan, and the likeness in chalk almost made me cry! has anyone ever seen or heard of the english artist julian beever? he does these phenomenal 3d chalk drawings that look as if they're popping right out of the street, definitely worth checking out!
From Royce Faina
Posted on June 23, 2009 at 2:42 PM

Truly Amazing!

From Anne Horvath
Posted on June 23, 2009 at 10:21 PM

I like the fish pond the best, but those angels gave me the BEST laugh all week! 

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on June 24, 2009 at 4:02 AM

from " A Psalm of Life" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Art is long, and time is fleeting
Act, act in the living present!
Heart within and God o'erhead!

If only Longfellow had lived long enough to see these works of art in chalk which will soon be washed away by the rain.  The ones you posted are really beautiful, Laurie.  Thanks.

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