Chalk dusting our souls

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 – 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.

Of course, this one spoke to me for several reasons. I like the message, I like the story and I feel like we all fell down a rabbit hole this past March.
I really can’t imagine having this kind of talent, especially at such a young age. But, on one scorching Saturday, a mermaid swam past Blue Moon Emporium.
Cute, right? It wasn’t finished but I got the picture and my soul felt a little less dusty.
I love the attention to whimsy here, like the snailboat and the poor mermaid in a bottle. I like to think she escaped and swam across the street.
I mean, how could you and your soul not love this one?
A tribute to Chris Farley, which reminds me. Did I ever tell you about me and Chris Farley? No? Perhaps another day.
I’m a little bit more enthusiastic in my pizza eating, but I get it.
I like the way the shadows frame this one.
This one wasn’t even finished and it already looked multi-dimensional.
This one is a perfect representation of the process and how these gifted artists can translate their work into chalk. Amazing.
The life cycle of summer, which is as fleeting as this chalk drawing that represents it. Let’s enjoy every moment while we can.

One thought on “Chalk dusting our souls

  1. Every person is gifted in some way. What a wonderful gift these young people have and are able to share it with others.

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