Monday, June 8, 2009

Wild Arts Walk

Sunday's event at Creamer's Field Refuge went really great: hundreds and hundreds of folks attended the 4th annual fundraiser "Wild Arts Walk." Hosted in part by the generous sponsorship of Design Alaska, this gig raised thousands of dollars to help keep all the educational programs running at this unique attraction in the Fairbanks community. Scattered around the refuge trails were dozens of stations for artists; painters, potters, photographers, watercolorists and so on. Musicians performed, games for children and other attractions made for a fun family-friendly time on a beautiful day; helped in no small part by the outstanding efforts of an army of volunteers.

While volunteering for the previous day's "Saturday Mornings with an Artist" gig, I happened to notice all the signs and stakes set out for each participating vendor's reserved area; I took the creative liberty of adding the disclaimer "Feral Arts Walk - Do not make any sudden movements - Do not look artist directly in the eye - Do not attempt to feed the artist." Given the fact that I looked like I had spent the night in the Creamer barn instead of going home, it probably cut into sales somewhat, even if most folks stopped to read and laugh at the sign. Or me.

Started off with no tent, which would have been a disaster given the elements of blazing sun and steady gusts of wind. Fortunately they rummaged up a broken tent that I temporarily fixed with the aid of paintbrush handles and duct-tape. Still didn't prevent me from promptly knocking over my quadruple-shot mocha and flower vase onto the table spread and saturating a nearby pad of Bristol board. Also didn't keep my art from occasionally littering the pristine field - not the sort of promotional exposure you want. Not to complain though, as the breeze kept off the mosquitoes, which were utterly insane given the haggard, bloodsplattered tourists that crawled by.
I pretty much just cranked out piles of cartoon sketches in Sharpie + wash, featuring the flagship resident of the refuge; Sandhill Cranes, who kept soaring overhead and honking out their peculiar greetings. I made kids guess what species my doodle depicted and rewarded them all with a originals, even the little smartass who called it a pelican.

Pictured above is local creative genius Fred Freer, modeling next to one of his inspirational pieces. Posted up top is my traditional crane dance accompanied by some of the participating artists I rounded up and publicly embarrassed.

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