Tuesday morning, June 21 a group of 18 young artists, ages nine and up, together with their teacher Tina Gramann arranged themselves in a circle on F Street and began to make art. Gramann explained that a day earlier, as they started their four-day “Street Art Walk” camp, the artists had been exploring different types of street art such as murals, chalk art, spray paint, stenciling, and window painting.
To help spark their ideas the campers also had been looking at a wide array of public art, ghost murals, and the decorated F Street plaza “blockades” downtown.
When asked what goals she had for these next generation of artists besides learning techniques, Gramann said the kids quickly grasped the differences between studio art and street art. “You have to think and plan ahead. On a long-term project, you’re going to be out for several hours and need to have all your supplies, your water. It’s very different than being in the studio” she said.
Beyond just logistics, on the street there’s the environment; personal safety considerations, weather, wind, daylight, pedestrians, pets (and sometimes harsh critics) to contend with.
“Today it’s the opposite – it’s just lovely and welcoming outside. We all talked with Linda (Francis) whose Four Winds studio-gallery is next door. We got to meet PJ (Bergin, mulberry paper artist). She came down from her studio to sit with the kids and talk about her art” Gramann continued.
While everyone was working, the two long-time Salida professional artists behind Chivvis & Lovell Studios stopped to take in the scene. Jack Chivvis makes wall sculptures using found objects, mostly in the form of metal faces and rustic wooden crosses. Linda Lovell does sophisticated framing – an art in itself, carefully balancing mats, glass and frame to uniquely highlight each piece of art. Both agreed that what impressed them was how the campers were not only good listeners, but cooperated with each other and knew how to neatly arrange their supplies and backpacks just like a professional would.
Returning on Wednesday, the campers further refined their work, then protected it with tarps and orange cones. “Keep watching us, we’re having a ball” Gramann said.
Camp concludes today, just in time for the 2022 Salida Art Walk to begin, wrapping up four days and inspiring a future that this young cohort will never forget.
For more information or be added to wait-lists for future summer camps, contact Tina Gramann at Salida Creativity Labs.
Featured image: Street Art Walk campers prepare chalk art installations on F Street ahead of Salida Art Walk 2022 weekend. Tina Gramann photo