Pastels on the Plaza was clearly scheduled by either a gambler or someone who doesn’t have to sit on the cement for five hours. Being about a month into the season of varying weather that is the Arcata norm, it is always worrying that it may be windy or rainy (as it has been in the past week) but this time it worked out. This was quite possibly the clearest, calmest day I’ve ever seen in Arcata.
This year, I had my mom in town, so I figured I’d do something tougher than usual under the assumption that she would bail me out if I got in over my head. Above is our end result. I’m pleased with it, though I always feel like I want to go back down there and fix some things after looking at my photos. This event is like running a mile race; long enough to be tiring, but short enough to make you feel like you could have run harder. My concept for the piece was a woman sitting in her window on a winter day, enjoying her garden, with a vase of cut flowers. It was done for local landscaper and garden writer Genevieve Schmidt
Above is an art nouveau peacock done for Holly Yashi by Leah Vaughn.
Below is her husband Casey Vaughn’s work for Plaza. Three of the toughest things to do on the rough sidewalk are smoothness, fine details, and perspective. He managed all three. To quote a passer by, “It’s a chair, but it’s cool”.
You may remember Susan Devine’s dragon on the Trinidad lighthouse from last year. This year she brings us a dreamscape for Barbara Rips:
I think my favorite square of the day was for SuddenLink. It was kind of hard to find since it was behind some giant sandwich board from the neighboring square. The background wasn’t much, but the horse was exceptional.
The neighboring square, for armack, clearly had a fantastic artist and self-important planning. Not only did it take up the entirety of the sidewalk, it also came with a large sandwich board placed in front of the previous square.
The Pacific Builders square was cute:
This elephant looks like a great collaboration between several artists for Gallagher’s Irish Pub. I love how they got the texture on the trunk. If you zoom in, it looks like there is some real dimension there.
This one is from Baroni (and sometimes Y). The artist did a beautiful job on her first solo year.
And this crystallized sea dragon for the Big Blue Cafe was very nice (click for full image)
And finally, a shout out to the Six RIvers Montessori people in the square next to me. Their kids were courteous, personable, and responsible; a better advertisement than any pastel square.
Thank you to the businesses who donated money for the Children’s Center in order to reserve a square, the artists who volunteered their time, everyone who came down to cheer us on, and to whoever put the farmer’s market around us. It was nice to have them there rather than a bunch of traffic. Same time next year.