Featured Artist: Chalk Art for July 4, 2013

By | Public Art

For the last few years the Idaho Statesman has sponsored a chalk art festival at Ann Morrison Park in Boise, Idaho. Kids, amateurs and professional artists alike get down and dusty together, creating masterpieces on the sidewalk for their own, and the public’s pleasure.

July 4, 2013 I was one of the Featured Artists. That meant lots of coverage in the Idaho Statesman, free chalk, all the water I could drink, and a parade of delightful people passing by while I worked who actually believed I knew what I was doing!

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“Y Not Ride the Bus” Bus Shelter

By | Public Art

A year after completing our first two bus shelter ceiling designs Will Spearman and I were commissioned to design a third. This bus shelter is directly adjacent to the downtown YMCA in Boise, Idaho so we wanted to include people playing sports. This is our computer design:

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Not long after the bus shelter was installed it was hit by a drunk driver and the entire structure had to be rebuilt. Well over a year later they were able to completely restore our design. I’ve got just one question for any driver in that position: “Y Not Ride the Bus?”

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©2013 Melissa "Sasi" Chambers and Will Spearman - "Tabula Astrum Omnibus" - bus shelter in Boise, Idaho

“Tabula Astrum Omnibus” Bus Shelter

By | Public Art

At the same time that Will Spearman and I worked together on “The Buck Stops Here” we collaborated on “Tabula Astrum Omnibus.” The animals used in silhouette are the same in both designs, including the rarely seen, but dearly loved jackalope.

This is the computer image we designed which was then translated into vinyl:

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When the panels were installed we discovered, too late, that the two shelter locations had been mixed up and so the geese on “The Buck Stops Here” are flying North, and the compass on “Tabula Astrum Omnibus” is actually pointing South.
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We discovered the mixup the day of the reveal. This is Will calling to see if there is anything we could do to fix it. Uh, no.

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No worries. We had dinner at Bar Guernica. The geese always manage to figure it out somehow, and everyone in Boise knows if you want to know which direction is North, you just look for the foothills.

©2013 Melissa "Sasi" Chambers and Will Spearman - "The Buck Stops Here" - bus shelter in Boise, Idaho

“The Buck Stops Here” Bus Shelter

By | Public Art

Boise City Department of Arts & History put out a call for artists to design images to be installed on the ceilings of bus shelters in downtown Boise, Idaho. They were looking for artists who knew how to translate their images into vector files. I don’t even know what that means, but luckily my good friend and talented graphic designer Will Spearman does, so we teamed up and designed three bus shelter ceilings together. This is the silhouette (not the vector file) we created called “The Buck Stops Here.”

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That image was blown up and cut out of vinyl which was applied to the glass, with a second layer of white vinyl behind it. These are photos of the various panels:

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Do not miss the wild Idaho potatoes in the center of the panel!

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“Trastero Folklorico” Traffic Box, Nampa, ID

By | Public Art

Spring of 2013 the City of Nampa, Idaho put out a call for artists to design artwork for traffic boxes in their historic downtown. I was selected to create a design, and my idea to create a Mexican kitchen cupboard, or trastero, featuring bright pottery, folk art, tiles and papel picado was approved.

This is my watercolor and acrylic painting on paper of the “Trastero Folklorico” laid out in sections as it would be photographed and wrapped around the traffic box:

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Here is a closeup of the front of the trastero. Much of the pottery, the flowered tray, the colorful chapel, and the animal figure candle holders are real Mexican folk art which belong to me and are in my Butler’s Pantry in my Artist’s Home.

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We drove out to Nampa to see how the traffic box looked before the official reveal a few weeks later. It’s always amazing to see your work blown up from a small painting on paper to a life sized work of urban art.

(The missing piece of the picture below was installed by the time of the reveal, and I will add that photo to the website soon.)

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