Do you remember watching TVO kids after school and seeing Neil Buchanan, a strange british man who’s good friend was a talking head bust called simply, “The Head”? Art Attack inspired hundreds if not thousands of children to find creativity in everyday life while Neil taught them a variety of techniques that I’m sure some of us artists still use today (how many times have you mixed one part water, one part PVA glue for papier mache with Neil’s voice in your head?)
Almost everyone’s favourite moments of Art Attack were Neil’s “Big Art Attacks” where he took everyday items – salt, rocks, laundry, dirt – even snow and created giant pictures that could only really best be seen from above. It was awe-inspiring to see the scale of the Art Attacks Neil produced with such simple items and although I’m sure it took him several hours in real life, the show let us follow his process in under two minutes.
Feeling inspired by Neil’s improvisational art, I organized a special Art in the Park event where we could have our own “Big Art Attack” and create a giant chalk mural along the paths of Gage Park.
It turns out that people love to improvise art! When you put out a box of chalk and invite passerbys to participate, more often than not they will! Although volunteer organizer Amye St. John and I looked particularly crazy trying to brush away the debris from our starting area, once we began creating the mural it was just a matter of time before park patrons picked up a piece of chalk and added their own images.
What was even more exciting to see was the wide variety of people who chose to participate – people from the ages of 10 years old to past 50 years old, African-Americans, South Asians & East Asians, as well as physically challenged folks joined in on the fun. Local artist James Flux provided our first experience of “chalk paint” which let artists splatter and toss paint which later inspired RagnaArt.
Well over twenty five people participated and added to our mural in some way on Thursday, June 28th which is why Peel Arts Collective will be hosting another improvisational Art Attack on Thursday, August 3rd by Diplock Lane in Downtown Brampton.
If you are interested in Peel Arts Collective hosting an “Art Attack” near you, please email info [at] peelartscollective.com with your location suggestions!
All photographs were taken by Bret Sheppard.
Article written by Amber Victoria Lee, Director of Organization