Color College Avenue
On Saturday, May 19, the Blacksburg Regional Art Association, of which I'm a member, handed paint and brushes to hundred of youngsters (and some oldsters) for Color College Avenue from the corner on Main Street to Draper Avenue, right in front of The Lyric Theater. A wonderful, if somewhat messy, time was had by all.
This event was spurred on by a statewide initiative for children and the arts called Minds Wide Open. Even though their website still won't let me register the event after the fact, I'll still give them credit for being the seed that started all this amazing creativity.
BRAA was the driving force behind this day even though it didn't look like that in the article in The Burgs. Nancy Norton, BRAA co-VP, was the glue that held all this together, gathering volunteers, getting most of the donations, calling meetings and handling dozens of details. She and a bunch of others showed up at 6 a.m. to get things ready and lay down the chalk outlines of planned and unplanned artworks. She was there until the bitter end wearing an appropriate amount of paint to prove her attendance.
The Lyric Theater, especially the executive director, Susan Mattingly, was a huge player. Thanks for the marketing, the drawing, the use of your office and sidewalk. Our apologies for the wayward paint on the floor, carpet and traffic markings! We might have lost just a bit of control!
Thanks to the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech and Ruth Waalkes for the wonderful video produced of the event.
The big, formal blocks of artwork were designed ahead and painted by students from Harding Avenue Elementary, Blacksburg New School, and Blacksburg Chinese School. Two other blocks were provided by Textile Artists of Virginia and The Virginia Quilt Museum and painted by volunteers. Freehand art just took off on its own and by the end of the day, nary an inch of pavement escaped some color.
Thanks to Valley Paint and Decorating, Heavener Hardware, Lowe's and The Home Depot for their generous contributions to this project. It couldn't have happened without them!
Thanks also to the Renaissance Music Academy for bringing their young and wonderfully accomplished musicians to add a touch of class to the event with violins and cellos.
The weather was perfect, the turnout of an estimated 1,000 people who either painted or enjoyed watching was heartwarming. That is one thing I really like about Blacksburg. There is a sense of community and a wonderful family atmosphere for every event on the calendar.
If you are a Blacksburg area artist and haven't joined BRAA yet, maybe it is time. www.blacksburgart.org.
We are a nice bunch of people and new members with new ideas are greatly welcome.