In the early 90’s when I was working as the Art Director of the MIYO Teen Center I was asked by Youth in Arts, our sister non-profit, to mentor students in their annual Italian Street Painting Festival. I gathered five of my most art obsessed students and started planning their little art spaces. Hundreds of boxed off squares and rectangles lined four blocks in downtown San Rafael. The squares were all sponsored by local businesses, and each year I was given an additional larger space next to the teens to create my own piece of street art. The first year I worked with another artist on my piece because I was worried I couldn’t mentor the kids and fill my space in two days. But as I got more comfortable with the process and the long hours laying on the blacktop, I began creating my own pieces. The kids were always finished the first day and would bring their families back the second day. While I relished in my tiny little piece of blacktop in this massive art show. People would walk over me and provide moments of shade in the blazing heat. At the end of each day all of the artists would walk three blocks to the Falkirk Mansion to get fed and relax. The “after party” was always like heaven. Just outside the mansion there were hoses to wash off your dirty feet and hands. Then a line of chair masseuses to give a quick massage. And inside there was a full buffet of beautifully catered food. I was able to connect with different artists through these parties and the awareness of an artist community was born in me.
The pictures above are of just a few pieces I did in the 7 years I participated in this event.