Sunday, August 31, 2003

Art comes outside, where the people are (walking)

Chalk technique turns sidewalk into canvas

By Nicole Hamilton
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Clifton's Ludlow Avenue is touted as one of the city's most colorful places.

On Saturday afternoon, about 50 artists gathered at the Clifton Recreation Center for a workshop on chalk art, or more specifically to learn pouncing - a 16th-century painting technique still seen on the streets of Europe.

Some of the artists will also participate later this month in the second annual StreetScapes, a street-painting festival on Telford Street, just off Ludlow Avenue.

Their mission: to make Ludlow Avenue even more colorful.

The festival, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 27 and 28, will also feature strolling musicians and a section where children can work on a chalk mosaic.

"It's about the process, about the artists interacting with the public," said organizer Kip Eagen of Clifton, who said about 2,500 onlookers came out last year to watch as teams of artists turned black pavement into works of art in the style of Matisse, Van Gogh and other masters.

"It's like a museum of the streets," Eagen said.

For Lisa Jameson, an art education instructor and StreetScapes team leader, it was a chance to teach her students something new.

She and fellow NKU colleagues Kevin Muente and Kirk Mayhew organized an NKU team which last year pounced out a work by Italian painter Caravaggio.

James said NKU will have three teams this year producing works by Michelangelo, Picasso and Van Gogh.

Teams representing the University of Cincinnati's College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning, and the Art Academy will also be on hand.

Chalk drawings aren't as elusive as some may think. Eagen said the masterpieces should be around for months, before they fade from wind and rain.


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