I work near the Seattle Art Museum, and that fortunate location is one of the principal joys of my current position. I am a member of SAM and I often pop over to the galleries to see art during lunch. This week I’ve been able to see artwork outside, too, and it’s been a delight.
The art museum has a new exhibit called Inspiring Impressionism. To celebrate its opening they held a sidewalk chalk art day. Professional chalk artists (what a cool job!) made elaborate drawings on the pavement. These temporary masterpieces are lovely. I also find it lovely that people are stopping to admire them, and even though they take up large portions of the sidewalk everyone is walking around them. It’s nice to see this respectful interaction with the art.
The museum also encouraged others to show their creativity, and there are many individual chalk pictures scattered around the larger ones. Some are skillful, others less so, but all are colorful and exuberant. I see a lot of graffiti around town, and I wish that more of the artists that choose that form of public expression would switch to chalk. It can be a stunning medium, and it causes no long-term property damage. Even better, the Seattle rains will erase the canvases over time, allowing more space for fresh art. It seems like a win-win situation to me.
I’m enjoying these pictures while they sit there, and I’m looking forward to the next bit of rain. I hope I’m in the neighborhood on that day, because I think that the chalk will look spectacular as it melts under the showers. It’ll be a great chance to practice non-attachment, to enjoy the transient nature of all things. There’s beauty even in transition and loss, and I hope to witness it. I’m also going to go get some chalk, so I’ll be able to make a mark of my own.
Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
133. Go buy some sidewalk chart and create a little masterpiece of your own. Put it where others can see it and delight in the beauty you’ve created. Enjoy it while it lasts, and then let it go. Repeat as joy dictates!