Amid pandemic, Berkeley neighborhood finds inspiration at chalk artwork competition

Students painted on the ground with chalk

Students painted on the ground with chalk

Berkeley college students labored on an illustration depicting the “eye” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. (Picture courtesy of Emma Tracy)

UC Berkeley’s campus neighborhood just lately put apart the coronavirus pandemic’s turbulent instances — for a couple of days, at the very least — to embrace creativity and neighborhood by public artwork.

From Sept. 25 to 28, Berkeley’s Dia De Madonnari, an artwork competition that adhered to social distancing, gave UC Berkeley college students and metropolis of Berkeley residents a possibility to precise themselves by avenue work. Members, each people and teams, selected from greater than 10 totally different areas in and round Berkeley to create their very own chalk illustrations depicting present occasions and experiences round racial justice, connection and the surroundings.

The artists additionally introduced consideration to organizations and people that they really feel are having a constructive impression on the neighborhood.

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Sponsored by Berkeley’s School of Environmental Design Variety Fund, the three-day occasion included greater than 20 contributors, some as younger as age 6 and from native elementary faculties.

The occasion was organized and led by Berkeley college students Natalie Musick and Emma Tracy, who offered pastels for the artists and money prizes of as much as $200 for the very best entries.

Tracy mentioned the timing of and recruitment for the occasion have been affected by the smoke from latest wildfires, however that “we lucked out by having a weekend with clear skies.”

“I feel an occasion like that is essential on this pandemic,” mentioned Tracy. “It reminds individuals that there’s hope and gives one thing to look ahead to. For artists, creating one thing with a function and making an announcement you might be happy with may be fulfilling. It’s also tremendous enjoyable to stroll down the streets and see the colourful pictures being created. It brightens up your day a bit.”

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The artwork, which was unfold all through the town, attracted many onlookers. Tracy mentioned she captured the development of every chalk drawing, and the photographs may be seen on the competition’s web site gallery.

Some Berkeley student-artists invited their housemates to work collectively on a few of the entries, mentioned Tracy, including that it was inspiring to see the “inventive pleasure” many college students expressed all through the day.

The impression the occasion had on its youngest artists, although, was uniquely particular.

“We heard again from a few of the dad and mom telling us how proud their youngsters have been about this accomplishment and taking part,” Tracy mentioned. “One of many dad and mom had their youngsters select what to do with the prize winnings. Her daughter selected to buy a microphone from her trainer’s wishlist. … This was the very best factor to listen to, as a result of we noticed the ripple results of the occasion.”

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