SCAD sidewalk arts 2013

Hello, hello! Just a short little report after a long weekend in Savannah, Georgia. Thursday was spent enjoying the beautiful weather and visiting with friends, Friday was a day for beach lounging, Saturday got a bit messy (more on that!), and Sunday was another quiet day spent in good company. I'm already gloomy typing this up in the soggy and cold Maryland climes, but what can you do? 

the park was EMPTY when I showed up at 9 to start sculpting | the start of my hands as well as my box of chalk | hands and feet placement

Anyways! The trip was a just-for-giggles thing, but it happened to coincide with my alma matar's Sidewalk Arts Festival. The basic gist of the competition is that the school divides up the entrants (undergrad, graduate, alumni, and prospective students), assigns them a square of sidewalk in the beautiful Forsyth Park, gives out a package of chalk, and let's everyone get creative. Did I compete? You bet I did! I never had the opportunity while attending school to compete because I generally worked weekends, but I'm so glad I had the chance to be apart of the Sidewalk Arts Festival this year. I had a blast getting super dirty (clay and chalk dust from head to toe; my hands are still stained!), seeing old friends, meeting new ones, and getting to talk to so. many. freaking. people. The amount of people constantly walking through shoulder to shoulder to look at work was staggering, and it went on for hours. 

by jen salmon

by alan gallardo

My neighbors to the left happened to be two really awesome kiddies--one was a friend who I'd graduated with last year, and another was a new (but equally jawesome) bud. Jen made a colorful and expressive use of her allotted space, freestylin' her application of chalk and creating some very deeply layered sections. I love the energy going on in her piece! Alan, a native of Venezuela, created a bold and assertive politically-driven work featuring Capriles Radonski in the iconic Uncle Sam getup. He used his skills as a printing and design guru to create a vinyl stencil, which made for such intense line quality. It was amazing to see the reaction of other Venezuelans, as well as hearing hundreds of people butcher the pronunciation of "te quiero". 

As for my square, I decided to take a different approach. The rules state that you can incorporate other materials to create a three dimensional piece, so I ran with it. Drawing (at least not on the SCAD level) is not one of my strong suites, so I decided to dust off my rusty sculpting skills and have some fun. I haven't touched clay since April of 2012, something which plagues me on a daily basis--I get so much from working with my hands on such a visceral level, and I've deeply missed my ceramic studies. But here was the perfect opportunity to jump back in to it! 

linocut piece from 2011

linocut piece from 2011

I based piece on a print I made back in 2011, which explored the lines that make up fingerprints. I also really love sculpting hands, but I'd never done feet before so I was up for a challenge! Here's what I came up with...

my legs were fiiiiilthy. 

seriously...check out that line of people! it was like this for hours.

After having so many catastrophic breaks during the drying and baking process, I really enjoyed creating a clay piece that I knew wouldn't be permanent. I'm thinking I'll have to pursue this in future...maybe some sculpting work in Downtown Annapolis? Anywho! We celebrated this wonderful day spent getting creative and dirty by ordering some shrimp from a "connection" in town. Five pounds of royal reds plus three stone crab claws for $40? And they're fresh as all get out? Yes, please. After scrubbing off as much chalk as possible and applying liberal amounts of aloe to my crispy shoulders, I set to cooking with a big glass of red wine in hand.

I'd never even heard of royal red shrimp, but after a quick google search, I found that they're deep water dwelling delicacies. Because they like to hang out at greater depths than other varieties of shrimp, they're basically pre-seasoned. A little bit of butter and garlic are all you need to cook up these sweet crustaceans. The man who delivered our shrimp also threw in three stone crab claws, which were boiled, chilled and then placed atop a spicy asian coleslaw salad with sliced avocado. Li'l bit of summer squash and spinach, and balsamic asparagus and we were all in heaven--a perfect spring meal after a glorious day.


Savannah is always such a treat--even though this trip was particularly low-key. I didn't get around to seeing all of the people that I'd have liked to this go round, but I'm feeling mighty fortunate to spend time with friends that I love so dearly in the city that I'll always call home. The last few weeks have really put a different spin on how I go about my day-to-day, but I can say I definitely enjoyed myself to the fullest and spread as many good vibes as possible.   --Much love, Mary J.