Monday, June 16, 2008

Timing the Chalk Walk

You don't take a photograph, you make it. - Ansel Adams

The Kansas City Chalk Art Walk was this past weekend.

In years past, I can remember only one where the weather held for the duration of the event. I am sure there were more; but I went to that one and others I hoped to visit since then have been rained out, some, within a few hours.

This year, I happened to pick up the post card ad at the coffee shop days ahead of the event and the weather forecast looked promising. I hoped to introduce some friends to this special scene.

The fact the art is ephemeral is part of the attraction. Artists must complete their creations in a few hours and then, to avoid soiling any neighborhood tires, everything is washed away and the street returns to the prior state of unadornment in time for the Monday morning work rush.

Timing is key. Go too early and there are no finished works to enjoy. Too late and all the magic has happened. Most of the fun is watching the art in process.

Sunday morning offered a perfect view of a diverse collection of chalk masterpieces: finished, in process, and a few....because it had been so hot on Saturday....abandoned.

We timed the rain perfect this year. My friends were entertained and impressed; and an hour after I snapped my shots against the backdrop of a warm, slightly overcast, Midwest summer morning, the clouds converged, burst open and the downpour began.

Can't imagine it left much work for the street cleaner but I can picture a beautiful rainbow river rushing to the drain.

*Mural Artist with the Horse - Gina K. Townley

Now take a look at the works of extreme chalk artist Julian Beever.

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