PERRY — Take some chalk. Then discover a sq. of pavement and create artwork, with an emphasis on unusual.
For Tee Jay Dill of Rochester, that meant making a pastel-colored picture of a skydiving beaver, brimming with wide-eyed cuteness.
It wasn’t the form of picture she often designs in her job as a tattoo artist, however then once more, it was primarily based on a real story. Her creation wowed the crowds and received a primary place award throughout Saturday’s fifteenth annual Perry Chalk Artwork Competition.
Apart from marking a milestone, the occasion was among the many area’s first vital gatherings because the COVID-19 pandemic subsided domestically.
“My abstract phrase can be ‘unbelievable,’” mentioned coordinator Megan Hauser as crowds surveyed the paintings. “The bike trip this morning was offered out. We had 250 bikers, and that was as many because it allowed for, so it was tremendous … It’s a flurry of exercise and it’s unbelievable seeing the youth the paintings is a lower above, I believe, this yr. And out on the plaza it’s superb.”
The Perry Chalk Artwork Competition combines nice artwork — chalked on the pavement — with meals, music, the Perry Farmers’ Market, and the Tour de Perry bike race.
This yr’s occasion featured 27 youth and 27 grownup artists, engaged on the theme of “Stranger than Fiction.” UFOs, emus, deep sea fish and astronauts among the many material.
Dill, like the opposite artists, had been engaged on her piece since 8:30 a.m. when she chatted within the early afternoon.
“Yeah, legit,” she mentioned of her piece. “In 1948 they dropped skydiving beavers into the Idaho wilderness to repopulate the world with beavers. I believe that they had gotten over-hunted … They needed to repopulate the world and there’s no roads up there, so that they did an experimental program the place they airdropped beavers. There’s Youtube video and we had been watching it final night time.”
She had heard of the undertaking a number of years in the past, and her thoughts saved returning to the concept, given this yr’s theme.
“I believed I’d draw one cuter,” Dill mentioned. “The one than I had carried out beforehand was drawn extra of an indignant army beaver. He had an enormous cigar, like a paratrooper. If you assume paratrooper, you assume gruff man with a cigar.”
Why did she determine to go together with the cuter picture? “As a result of it appears it’s loads of children and stuff right here, and I figured it could simply be cuter,” she mentioned laughing.
A couple of toes away, Julia Williamson of Cheektowaga labored on her personal creation — a comic book book-style picture of a 14th century Black Plague physician, carrying the beaked masks and goggles they thought supplied safety from the illness. The determine was surrounded by green-colored vapors.
“Clearly with the previous two years which were form of a catastrophe, it is a plague physician and it’s what docs really would put on within the Black Plague,” she mentioned. “They might have incense and different herbs (within the beak) as a result of the scent was so horrible they didn’t must scent it. They had been coated from head to toe, so I believed it was applicable this yr — and it seems to be very a lot stranger than fiction.” The picture garnered loads of consideration from guests, asking what it was.
Like many of the different artists, Williamson made a sketch beforehand and primarily based her chalk artwork off it. “I’ve been doing this about seven years and I began at 8:30 this morning,” she mentioned. “Often I’ve a sketch I make forward of time and I am going off the sketch. I’m not likely good at being spontaneous, so I believe planning forward helps.” What’s one of the best a part of the competition? “Actually, simply seeing the individuals out-and-about,” she mentioned. “It’s been a very long time.”
Youth artists labored up and down Principal Avenue within the meantime, together with 11-year-old Gio Muolo of Perry, who was taking part for her first yr. She likes to attract and had chalked a picture of a deep sea fish in an ocean scene.
“My sisters all the time did it once I was youthful and I’ve all the time needed to,” she mentioned. “I believe I used to be on the age of going final yr, however we couldn’t do it due to COVID. Additionally, I believe the ocean is admittedly unusual — like we all know extra about the complete universe than we do oceans, and there’s so many various layers and animals we don’t find out about.”
She mentioned she created her picture spontaneously.
“I identical to seeing a bunch of different individuals’s drawings and what they got here up with,” she mentioned.
Muolo labored close to teenagers Zsa Zsa Fisher of Buffalo, Diego Camacho of Gowanda, and Courtney Rhodes of Livonia. Every introduced their very own perspective to their creations, together with a Salvador Dali-esque picture, a dragon and an octopus, respectively
Fisher accepted compliments from the group, whereas Rhodes, 17, mentioned she was additionally taking part for the primary yr. She finds it stress-free.
“I actually like chalk drawing,” she mentioned. “I attempted it over quarantine and realized I used to be actually good at it, so I made a decision to do it this yr … I discovered it bizarre that octopi have three hearts and this yr is ‘Stranger than Fiction,’ so I needed to include that theme.”
The paintings continued all through the afternoon — prime items set to final till the subsequent rains happen.
“We often come right here yearly,” Camacho mentioned. “It’s enjoyable to attempt one thing new.”