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Art Crawl Fresh As Ever
Chalk art at an early stage.
The quarterly Art Crawl Experience on August 11th will be especially memorable for the heat! It took brave souls to map out their allocated areas on the street and start their chalk art drawings at midday. But as the afternoon progressed so some beautiful art appeared on the pavement to the delight of the passers-by.
Inspiration for the creations ranged from Gabby Douglas, America’s favorite Olympic gymnast, to the Mars rover “Curiosity”, now depicted as a gorgeous lady with stars and planets in her hair.
Across the street an artist mixed red chalk with water, poured it underneath a cone and photographed it as the mixture spilled out: Anaheim Bleeding. Five minutes later he poured a green concoction at the base of a hydrant: Water Pollution. This probably went unnoticed save for his own camera recording the results for some future exhibition.
Gradually more and more kids and parents bought sticks of chalk from nearby volunteers and added their own imaginations to the sidewalk.
Center Street Promenade has undergone a radical transformation since one side of the street got bought out and refurbished by The Lab - a sort of collective of Little American Businesses. Now you may start from the Clementine end of the street and make the Gypsy Den your first port of call for a snack and a drink. Check it out. Lovely ambience. A perfect meeting place.
The new Yoga Studio has already signed up a good number of members and it was exciting to see the students practising their positions out in the street.
At Lemon you discover the Food Court had been completely redecorated and Healthy Choice food predominates. This is now a chic stopping place with elegant furnishings.
A few steps further along and you come to 118 degrees Community Café where the food fare becomes yet more upmarket. And in between these wonderful new eateries you’ll find a barber shop, gift shop, art galleries and other renaissance style spaces and more besides.
By six o’clock hundreds of people had wandered down the Art Crawl area stopping at craft booths and perhaps finally going in to the Beer Garden set up by the Anaheim Historical Society. The top end of Lemon became the place to hang out, learn some new dance steps, listen to the swing band or simply taste beer and wine to offset the afternoon heat.
For those who made it to S. Anaheim Blvd they found a remarkable new burger restaurant - Umami Burger, located right next to Anaheim Brewery. If you want style with a burger there is nowhere else to go. You could take your friends here for a birthday treat! While the facility was under construction they builders found scores of buried old license plates. With great perception the owners realized these could be made into art. And now they hang as a novel chandelier, and wall decoration on the back wall.
It was here that I found artist David Kooi and had him explain his reliquaries. A reliquary is essentially a box in which you keep relics. None of these contained a toe from John the Baptist, or a lock of hair from a medieval saint! Beautifully crafted from wood, overlaid with hammered copper, and with photographs etched on the outside they sheer ingenuity of the pieces draws you to touch them. Go ahead, open them, say Kooi. They are meant to be touched. And ironically, they are not really meant for display, he explained. These are for your private relics and you stash them away secretly.
I think Umami Burger will become a great place for social mixers.
The next Art Crawl in November will be spared the heat and I have little doubt that the art and the ambience being created in Center Street Promenade will draw the crowds back again.