Easton Town Center
160 Easton Town Center
Columbus, OH 43219
Written and Photographed by Doreen Dawkins
Artists use chalk to create large works of art while interacting with those who attend the event.
Sidebar: The concept is based on Logan Square’s Robin Williams Mural. Lori’s genies are smiling and have eye balls and Robin Williams is in color and happy.
Why chalk art?
I was here a couple of years ago. I thought it was interesting, so why not? I am typically a digital artist. I like to run towards things that scare me.
Is this your first time doing vertical chalk art?
This is my first time doing chalk art.
Sidebar: I love that this event gives a platform for artists to display chalk art for the first time.
Is chalk your main media?
This is the one chalk event that I do every year. I usually don’t work with this material. I usually work in paint, drawing material like graphite or digital media.
What do you think of the vertical blocks?
I am a fan. This is my seventh or eighth year doing this. Usually, I am on the ground. Being able to stand and work is pretty nice this year. I think when people see the vertical chalk art, it pulls them into the event. People seem to be exploring the event more this year.
I love this event! I agree with Thom Glick. The addition of the 8’ chalk cubes “pulls people into the event.” Previously, if a person wasn’t paying attention they could walk right past the event and not realize it was going on. It amazes me the creativity on display. Eight or ten feet is a large area to cover with chalk vertically or horizontally. This is the mature lady in me comment, I can’t imagine wear and tear on the body, especially the knees. Although this event is scheduled until 6:00pm, if you want to interact with the artists, I suggest you arrive about 3:30 pm. Many artists were done and packing up around 4:30 pm.
Sidebar: It is advertised that this festival is on the Scioto Mile. It is not! It is west of the River, south of COSI (Center of Science and Industry).
Much of the festival was centered around music and dancing.
Why did you come to the Columbus Caribbean Festival?
I support anything West African and Caribbean. I am for unification. We are all black. I’m about having fun together. We are not that different. If we came together, more we would be able to see how similar we are. The different types of music are fun. For example, reggae, soca, dance hall, hip hop, and afrobeat. It is all influenced by each other. It is fun to hear the different connections.
Where are you from? How often have you come to this festival?
I’m first generation American. My mom is from Port-au-Prince. This my first year here. I am originally from New Jersey. In New Jersey, we have this every year.
How can this be made better?
Incorporate the Haitian culture and a little bit more of all the islands. There was only one tent that had Haitian food. It was good, but there should be a lot more Haitian food and music here. We have music that you can dance to just like Jamaican music.
Where are you from. Did I see you dancing earlier?
I am originally from Saint Thomas, Virgin Islands, but I drove from Cleveland to be here. If you play soca music, then I will be up and moving around.
It looks like those dancing are shaking everything at the same time.
It’s never too late for soca. It is a whole body experience. Once soca is in your blood, you chase it. It’s like a high.
It seems like, with all that shaking, people would not be fat.
You see how good we eat. When I arrived, I put my chair down and got something to eat before I started dancing.
Tell me about your work.
I try to have something for everyone. I have 4 children’s books that are best for 8 years old and under. It was important for me, as a black author and black self publisher to have black illustrators and African American main characters. I have a compilation of young ladies from 6 to 60 talking about getting along, keeping the peace, and working together. It has a companion journal. My most recent book is the story of my life. It is a book of short stories from mens, womens, children and ancestors perspective. It is a great conversation starter regarding mental health. I have a book of poetry for adults. It goes through the ups and downs of my life’s journey. I have a non-fiction ebook about publishing your own book and a guide for getting grants.
I founded the Bridges book club at www.bridgesbookclub.com. Each month we have a featured author that is part of the group. We have best selling authors, publish authors and aspiring authors.
This is a chill festival. I enjoyed watching those dancing. It is hard to describe. Although I have rhythm, I dare not try dancing for concern of pulling or straining something. It was good to see unity in action. People connecting around the music and dancing.