Saturday, June 11, dawned drizzly and pretty gross, seemingly not the perfect day for Moberly Area Community College’s Art on the Block festival. But as workers hurried to put up tents and tables and to organize art supplies before the first family arrived at 10 a.m. sharp, the rain quit sputtering from the sky and the temperature started to rise. And from then on, the day whizzed by in a flurry of chalk dust, spray paint and tie-dye mixed with the strains of jazzy brass instruments and Beatles tunes.
Art on the Block was the brainchild of MACC President Dr. Evelyn Jorgenson. Dr. Jorgenson, whose bachelors degree is in Fine Arts, wanted the opportunity to give something of cultural value back to the Moberly area and hosting a free day of art for Moberly families was the perfect event to do just that.
“It began as a sidewalk chalk contest, and suddenly after a few committee meetings last year, grew into an entire festival. I’m so pleased with this effort and am looking forward to what we can plan for 2012. Our MACC team did an amazing job! I had a great time, myself, and even had fun creating a chalk drawing or two,“ commented Dr. Jorgenson.
Art on the Block is a chance for people to observe professional artists at work and to get in on the action and create some art of their own. Professional artists created sidewalk chalk art throughout the day. Anyone could sign up to compete in the sidewalk chalk competition where they had the opportunity to win prizes of art supplies, an art party, free MACC art class or one of the art pieces on display. The winners of the various age categories were:
2nd grade & Under
1st Ethan Huwar (Cairo)
2nd Rheanna Owen (Moberly)
3rd Logan Miller (Madison)
3rd – 7th grade
1st Georgia Miranda (Moberly)
2nd Matthew Zauke (Moberly)
3rd Seth Smith (Higbee)
7th – 12th grade
1st Kyrsten Prock (Moberly)
2nd Jacob Eravi (Holliday)
3rd Lane Kirkpatrick (Moberly)
1st Scott Adams (Moberly)
2nd Spencer Owen (Moberly)
3rd Rachel Miller (Moberly)
Sidewalk chalk wasn’t the only attraction at Art on the Block sponsored also by the Rollins Street Neighborhood Association, the Moberly Area Council on the Arts and a generous grant from the Missouri Arts Council. There were rhythm instruments to play with and washer chimes to make. There were clowns making balloon hats and face painters creating anything kids could think of to put on their cheeks. Attendees could tie-dye a t-shirt for a few bucks or wrap packing tape to create a tape sculpture. There was an entire tent filled with recycled stuff just waiting to be made into some amazing sculpture. Sculpture and Pottery Adjunct Instructor, Fergus Moore was on the pottery wheel demonstrating how to throw pots and manning a booth where aspiring sculptors could sculpt their own piece using clay. Sculptors could leave their piece to be fired in a kiln and picked up later. Kids could create monsters with block printing or learn to polish stones. Everyone had the chance to contribute to a community mural. Drip painting was a busy stop for lots of aspiring Jackson Pollock painters. One of the biggest hits was the perfectly legal graffiti action going on near the north end of the lawn. Kids were allowed to add their own graffiti art to two cars parked in the grass. They were some colorful pieces of metal by the end of the day. A gallery exhibition was on display in the Graphic Arts Fine Arts Gallery entitled, Looking Over the Overlooked, featuring the drawing, paintings, photographs, and prints of Matthew Ballou and Jacob Crook. The exhibit runs through July 29 and is open to the public.
Adding to the festive atmosphere was the Liberty Jazz Ensemble, featuring MHS Band Director, Jordan Perry, who played everything from standard brass jazz numbers to good ole Motown music. They were followed by a quite talented group of Moberly Fourth Graders, The Papercuts, featuring Alex Fincher on lead vocals and guitar and ukelle, Clayton Garnett on bass and back-up vocals and Nick Herrin on drums. They performed a wide variety of Beatles tunes and even an original of their own. Alice in Wonderland and a Queen of Hearts Cardsman roamed around with puppets entertaining kids while metal sculpture animals by Lenard Venard stood guard on the MACC front lawn. Heap on some great food from the Little Dixie Lunch Basket and loads of free popcorn and you’ve got a recipe for a fun day.
“Last year was such a success that we were all extremely excited to see what we could come up with to top it,” explained Art on the Block organizer and Dean of Academic Affairs, Dr. Paula Glover, “and thanks to a ton of work from our committee and MACC volunteers, Art on the Block has once again been a huge success and a lot of fun for everyone, all of us at MACC included!”
Just as volunteers began packing up booths, the sun made a reluctant appearance spotlighting sidewalks filled with colorful masterpieces of turtles, cars, vegetables, hearts and flowers. Mary Poppins would have been proud to step into any of the scenes created by the Art on the Block artists. Visit MACC’s Facebook page to see the complete photo album of the day.
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