Monday, April 27, 2009

Earthweek – Chalk Art Event

About a month ago – since I started my new job as a schoolbus driver – I started spending some of my afternoon ‘free’ time at the Masonville Library, which is located at the north end of the city. I noticed that there is a large concreted area at the front of the library and I thought that it would look nice if it was filled with children’s art! Earthday was soon approaching and I thought that this would be a fun way to celebrate. I talked with the supervisor of the library and soon enuf, the event was scheduled.

Just two days ago – Saturday – early afternoon – we began…

As you can see, we had a nice sized canvas to work with.

To attract any passers-by to our art event, I suggested that we (my two volunteers and I) begin with a few drawings of our own. I suggested that we should have a big title at the top of our ‘canvas’ so we creatively wrote “HAPPY EARTHDAY 2009”. It’s a little hard to see, but the 00 in 2009 was drawn in the shape of two flowers! I thought that this was a great idea.

A few minutes later, a young girl decided to help us create some colourful art. She had been inside the library, watching us, and she could see that we were having fun, so she wanted to join us.

Soon, a mother and her two young children came to create their own Earthday chalk art drawings.

The last twenty minutes of our time was filled with quite a few children with their parents. Everyone was having a great time! I tried to take a picture of two of the young boys, but they were moving so fast that I wasn’t able to get a clear photo. One of the little boys was running with his little footsteps across the canvas and every three or four feet he’d bend down and draw a single line on the ground and then he’d continue to another spot. Just a step or two behind him, was his younger brother, who was chasing after him – and laughing hysterically (this was indeed a fun game!!! LOL) - and stopping at the same place to put his chalk mark down beside his brothers. These two carried on for a little while and I must have looked quite ridiculous chasing the two of them around with my camera… but alas, no photo turned out.

I spent a bit of my time working on a few of my own art designs and a bit of time encouraging the children with their art designs, offering to get them different colours of chalk and telling them how wonderful their artwork was. The children really enjoyed it when I got my guitar out to play a few fun songs for them.

Here are a few of the designs that were created during this one-hour event…

It’s funny when people say that they have no time to contribute to healing the planet, or that they don’t have enough money to do anything to make this world a better place – actually, maybe it’s not so funny. I hope that this story inspires others to realize that it takes very little to create an experience that can be shared by many in the pursuit of smiles and creativity. A simple conversation got the ball rolling – that took about ten minutes. A few emails were sent during the organizing stage – fifteen minutes. The event was an hour long and I had two volunteers helping me – we all were able to set aside this small one hour of our lives. The library paid for our chalk – which came to less than ten dollars. I volunteered my ideas and services to put this event together – no cost to the library so they were able to donate the sidewalk space and volunteers. That was all it took for us to create this event that over twenty people became involved in and that a few hundred people would enjoy until the rains came to wash it all away…

Be inspired! Be active! It’ll make a world of difference.


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