Ode to Street Art

I love encountering art of an unconventional caliber. From slick, sprawling graffiti to rogue wrought-iron installations – the more unexpected the art placement or medium, the better.

It was in pursuit of this obsession that I hauled Jim and Jackson to Petoskey this past Saturday to stroll the sidewalk-chalk art contest line-up at the Chalk & Chocolate festival. While there weren’t near the number of embellished sidewalk squares that I’d anticipated (okay, prayed for), the pigment-saturated path combined with the picturesque bay backdrop did make for ample eye candy.

Here are a few of my personal favorites…

Sidewalk Chalk Moon

Sidewalk Chalk Moon

Sidewalk Chalk Elephant

Sidewalk Chalk Elephant

Sidewalk Chalk Waterscape

Sidewalk Chalk Waterscape

Sidewalk Chalk Abstract

Sidewalk Chalk Abstract

Little Traverse Bay Backdrop

Little Traverse Bay Backdrop

Inspired by the prior day’s display (and considerate of next year’s $500 prize potential), Jackson and I tried our hand at some sidewalk-chalking of our own on Sunday. We’re not grand-prize-great (yet), but you gotta start somewhere, right?

Rainbow Road

Rainbow Road

In loosely related news, I was stoked to find an article in today’s paper on a few unique public art projects that may soon be underway in my own neighborhood – including overhauled car-hoods in the parking deck, embellished benches downtown, and a fresh coat of creativity in the pedestrian tunnel.

Downtown TC already offers an array of street art installations to appreciate, each made permanent by some unspoken public agreement that what’s been erected is sacred – or, at the very least, worth keeping around.

The publicly lauded (and rightfully so) yarn BAYBS (Bay Area Yarn Bomb Society) swath Front Street and it’s fringes with home-spun textiles unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.

Knit Owl Fountain

Knit Tree Wrap

And my personal favorite – from an anonymous-to-me party whom I’ve dubbed ‘the heARTist’ – is the series of stenciled hearts scattering downtown, each of which I’ve admittedly discovered with childhood’s hide-and-find enthusiasm. These spray-painted hearts sounded the kindest of greetings when we moved here – all quiet cues and implied gestures. I say paint the town!

Graffiti Heart Lightpost

Graffiti Heart Bridge

From the sidewalk-chalkers imparting wise words soon washed away, to the fresh purple paint of new dragonfly tags, I revel in it all.

Here’s to you, street artists – stirring souls and senses everywhere, one unconventional art piece at a time.

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2 thoughts on “Ode to Street Art

  1. Heather says:

    “…unspoken public agreement that what’s been erected is sacred – or, at the very least, worth keeping around” – well stated! I think (hope?) that you’ve captured public sentiment accurately. And I’ve seen your bulletin board art – you’ve got a shot at the cash next year πŸ™‚

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