Pastimes for a Lifetime is pleased to inaugurate its first-ever Student Sidewalk Chart Art Invitational or SSCAI!
What is SSCAI? My boss, Linda Wehrli devised this clever program that elicits the creativity and elbow grease of select art students while establishing a social-distancing protocol for the studio.
Here’s the back story:
Last month, Mrs. Shapiro, mom of Linda’s art student Ariel Shapiro, proudly shared photos of beautiful murals Ariel had painted at their house. It occurred to Linda that she would like to have a mural at the studio, however, she wasn’t sure where to place one.
Around that time, select Starbucks began opening up from the COVID19 lockdown. Per social distancing regulations, taped standing points 6-feet apart governed where customers stood in line.
It occurred to Linda that in order to reopen the studio safely, the walkway would need similar demarcations showing where students wait in line to enter the classroom.
Rather than use dreary tape, why not mark the waiting points with beautiful artwork. Even better – why not invite art students to take turns designing and painting the social distancing standing points.
The program started to take shape. An art student would be invited to design the 11 social distancing standing points along the studio walkway. They could be two alternating designs or 11 different designs of a similar style or theme of their choice. Linda would approve the final designs.
The school would provide high-pigment sidewalk chalk for the student to draw and paint his or her designs at the 11 designated spots along the walkway. Their artwork would remain up for a month.
The students’ hard work would be honored with a Certificate of Merit for their portfolio or community service points and a gift card from their favorite treat shop. A blog interview with the student artist, showcasing their work would follow.
Since it was Ariel Shapiro’s murals that inspired the program, it made sense for him to inaugurate the showcase. Thankfully, Ariel graciously accepted Linda’s invitation to do so.
On Monday, June 8, 2020, Ariel painted his 11 beautiful floral designs. We are pleased to take you on a tour of the SSCAI showcase.
And now an interview with the artist.
Q1: How would you describe the style of artwork you designed for Pastimes’ walkway?
A1: I would describe the artwork I designed as my creative interpretation of well known, beautiful flowers: the sunflower and hibiscus.
Q2: Nice choice of flowers. What inspired your design concept and palette? Was this the first design, or did you have others you had considered? If so, what were they?
A2: These two designs were not my first. I thought that a certain flower or plant followed by a branch with leaves on it would be the best way to make the flowers pop, but that wouldn’t be consistent. So, I decided to use two different flowers with the same leaf pattern.
Q3: Good point. Is this your first experience wielding high-pigment sidewalk chalk pastel? How did you like using it? Were the colors close to the palette you chose for your design? What were some of the drawbacks you experienced painting with it at the studio, if any?
A3: This was my first experience using high pigmented chalk. Usually, I would use Crayola chalk for small sketches or drawings. However, I did enjoy using this version more. It was easier to use in the sense that it didn’t erode to quickly, had bright and dark colors that were useful when shading, and worked well on both rough and smooth surfaces.
Q4: Thanks for the feedback. Have you ever attended Chalk Art and Street Painting festivals like the ones in Burbank and Pasadena? Would you consider participating in the next one when they safely reopen?
A4: I have never attended any street art or chalk festivals. But after doing these drawings at the art studio, I feel more confident that if I were to do it, it would turn out well. If they were to re-open, I would gladly attend them!
Q5: I’ve been to several. Very eclectic. How did you like designing and painting the social distancing demarcations for the studio?
A5: This was an amazing experience that I am so glad I was able to do. Thank you so much!
Ariel, I’m thrilled to hear. It was a pleasure and privilege to have you create these beautiful walkway social distancing designs for the studio. Thank you!
P.S. Readers and students are welcome to stop by during school hours to view the walkway, by appointment only. Email Jessica@pastimesinc.com to schedule a time.
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