This weekend we went up to Prescott, AZ, so our daughter, Lindsay, could participate in the 2-day Prescott "Chalk it Up" festival. This is a street art festival where anyone could reserve a space in a parking lot and do a chalk painting. Sizes varied from 2x2 feet to 10x10 feet. Lindsay decided to take a 4x6 foot space. Originally her art club was supposed to attend and participate, but schedule conflicts canceled the trip. Lindsay decided she wanted to participate on her own. She had previously participated in the Via Colori national events (Scottsdale, 2009, and Glendale, 2010) and really enjoyed them. This is difficult and back-breaking work, too.
So, she had to pick a subject. She loves all things cowboy so she picked the most famous cowboy of all... John Wayne. She did all the prep work finding a photograph, overlaying a grid over it, and getting all her supplies together. We were very impressed. Seems a lot of other people were, too. Most could not believe she is only a sophomore in high school. One couple have even asked Lindsay to do a commission for their home... they are BIG John Wayne fans!
The weather was beautiful, in the 70s and sunny... a little too sunny it seems, as we all got a good pre-tan working. We went up on Saturday assuming that Lindsay could finish in one day. Well, she took her time (in a good way) and really worked the details. So we decided to leave around 3:00 PM on Saturday, get something to eat before the 1.5 hour drive home, get a good night sleep and make a strong finish on Sunday. She had the portrait done the first day and just had to fill in the background and fine-tune on Sunday.
There were between 100 and 200 participants this year, including some professional chalk artists from California and Colorado. Originally there were supposed to be a "Best in Show" and a "People's Choice" award, as well as several awards for the 12 and under artists. Due to budget restraints there was only a People's Choice award this year as we just found out... and the people chose Lindsay! We are so proud of her! Congratulations, Linds!
A note to any parents out there. With all the school budget cuts, especially in the arts and music, please have your children participate in these (mostly) free events. They also had entertainment featuring local students and residents, including a steel drum band, a children's marimba band, a senior dance group, a local high school freshman fiddler, belly dancers and hoop dancers. We found out that the marimba conductor, a school music teacher, had just been laid off. I hope that these casualties of the economy will see the need for extra-curricular classes and start businesses of their own. We have to offer them our support to keep the arts alive.
Richard Coda has been photographing since he was a teenager. In college he fell in love with images made with large format cameras. Starting with a 4x5" view camera, he soon moved up to an 8x10" camera and, most recently, has begun working with an 11x14" camera.
While he photographed landscapes early in his career, recently his work has focused on that which has been overlooked, forgotten, or looked at, but not seen. He finds compositions where others see the ordinary, or nothing at all. While concentrating on black and white for most of his career, Richard has found a new love for color, using color as the subject, while still retaining his classical aesthetic for form, line and tone.
Please visit his websites at www.rcodaphotography.com and www.pctype.com