On a day so hot steam rose from the creek banks at Peabody Park and so humid it felt like you could reach out and wring water from the air, I strolled downtown to watch chalk artists paint the town.
Covered in sticky colored dust (a hazard of their trade) they worked diligently on pieces of art so beautiful they stopped people in their tracks and so fleeting you might have wondered at the effort of it all.
But all art matters, even the kind that washes away in a summer storm.
In fact, Picasso said, “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” I think our weary old souls could use a little cleansing right about now.
Thankfully, we have a world full of talented people eager to share their artistic gifts with us through almost any medium. We can stream music, read poetry, take virtual museum tours, watch shows, recreate classic paintings.
We can enjoy chalk art too.
The Museum of Wisconsin Art is hosting Chalk the State, encouraging people to “take to your sidewalks, driveways and parking lots to spread positive messages, inspire change and create bright, joyful works of chalk art to share with friends, family, and neighbors.”
We amateurs can participate by posting pictures of our chalk drawings under the hashtag #chalkthestate anytime on July 25 or 26. You can also see some professional chalk art at the following locations:
Museum of Wisconsin Art – Julie Jilek
Mod Gen (Third Ward) – Stacey Williams-Ng
Arts@Large – Kitty Dyble-Thompson
Fellowship.art – Ariana Vaeth
Paine Art Center & Garden – Annette Koepke
Trout Museum – Irineo Medina
In the meantime, check out the cool work I saw on a hot day downtown.