Sidewalk art is more than popping through chalk paintings

I do a fair amount of walking in the sparkly-wet wonderful world that is Seattle, and so I get to enjoy the serendipitous art that occasionally pops up on the sidewalk. Today’s example comes courtesy of some anonymous football fan. You’re not going to hear me talking about football too often, but when the gridiron creates art they’ve stumbled over the sideline and into my territory. They do call it a sideline, right?

As I was walking to the supermarket I saw a miniature football jersey discarded in the street. The football jersey was the type often worn by stuffed teddy bears, and this one was abandoned and wet, crumpled between asphalt and rubber by the heartless kiss of a passing tire. Why does this strike me as art? It seems like the perfect summation to the football fever that so recently hit our city, as the Seattle Seahawks were advancing to the Super Bowl. Do you now have a picture of me as a devoted fan, munching popcorn and yelling at a screen somewhere with my buddies? Au contraire, mes amis. I don’t watch football, I don’t understand football, and I don’t follow football. I leave that to others. I do, however, live here, and it is impossible to move about without noticing all the fan support of the game. There was a football flag installed on the summit of the Space Needle, and many of the downtown office buildings arranged elaborate light displays to cheer on the team. While they were winning, that is.

All that remains of all that football fervor is a tiny little jersey abandoned in the street. And somewhere an equally tiny little teddy bear is running around shirtless. If you see him, give him a hug. Buy him some soup and a latte. He needs your support.

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
Yesterday I asked you to go find something shiny. Today I’m going to issue you another joy directive. (I used to teach Medieval history, so these are easy by comparison. I could be asking you to make chain mail. Of course, that’s fun, too!)

2. Wander the streets until you find something that strikes you as art and document it in some way. Art is everywhere—play hide and seek with the masterpieces in your own town.


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