The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Art Attack gets to the heart of the creative process
BY CHELYEN DAVIS
Ronald Jackson stood on Caroline Street, eyeing the canvas in front of him, dabbing more red or blue paint on a slowly emerging image of a couple dancing.
Two days before, the career Army man had arrived home in Fredericksburg from a yearlong tour in South Korea. He woke up Saturday at 3 a.m., body still adjusting to the change in time zone, and decided to join about 65 artists who spent the day creating art in downtown Fredericksburg.
Painting in public was a new experience for him, Jackson said, and he hoped it would inspire passers-by to pursue their own artistic leanings.
Before a late afternoon storm rolled in, visitors strolling Caroline and William streets could watch artists create sculptures, sketches and paintings of everything from flowers to street scenes to faces to a pool scene threatened by giant wasps.
The event—called “Art Attack”—was conceived by several local artists, including Bill Harris of LibertyTown Arts, said Scarlett Pons.
Pons, a potter, and her husband run the Ponshop on Caroline, and Scarlett Pons was on the sidewalk building a coil pot.
While Fredericksburg has a sizable art community, Pons said, art is often created privately.
The idea of the Art Attack, she said, was to bring that creation out into public, to let people see the methods and process, and interact with artists.
“A lot of times, it’s an intimidating process for the public,” Pons said. “This kind of breaks down that barrier between the public and the artist.”
Up the street a few blocks, Amy Woodruff and her daughter Amberly Thomas were quilting and painting, respectively.
Amberly, 13, was the youngest artist in the group, she said. She was sketching out a fantastical painting of a sort of female Victorian robot with tentacles on one hand.
Art is her passion, Amberly said. “I like the way you can make anything and it’s still art.”
Kenneth Moore was sitting on the sidewalk, painting the view of Caroline Street in front of him—except he also added a Tyrannosaurus rex lumbering down Caroline.
Moore is a student at the University of Mary Washington’s business school. He said painting in public is a good way to encourage creativity in kids; those who are creative thinkers, he said, will be the innovators in their chosen fields when they grow up.
On a corner, Carter Corbin was painting a portrait of Kadeana Langford, an artist turned model for the day.
Corbin, an art teacher at Massaponax High School, said the public art event might make people more aware of what it takes to create the art they see in galleries.
“I think people enjoy seeing the process,” she said.
On William Street, Toy Fowler was sitting in front of Raven Hi–Fi, working on a painting—of Raven Hi–Fi.
He joined the Art Attack to get to know the art community in Fredericksburg better, Fowler said.
That was part of Nick Candela’s motivation too.
Candela, an art teacher in Stafford, was painting the pool scene overshadowed by giant wasps.
“Hopefully, people are going to see how alive the area is,” he said.
Chelyen Davis: 540/368-5028