Pastel artists filled the Arcata Plaza with creative energy and multi-colored chalk dust on Saturday, Oct. 3 and covered the surrounding sidewalk with a wild mix of imagery — all in support of the 28th annual Pastels on the Plaza benefit for Northcoast Children’s Services, which provides free or low-cost preschool and family services throughout Humboldt and Del Norte counties.
Businesses, service clubs and schools donate the cost of a sidewalk square in the fundraiser and many find artists to create their pastel sidewalk image. Examples of at least 20 years of partnership include Joyce Jonté and Los Bagels, Amy Berkowitz and KHUM, Kevin Rex and KEET and Mike Craghead and the ARMACK Orchestra.
Over 200 artists signed up to use their fingers, paint brushes and other rubbing tools to distribute the pastel chalk on the rough concrete and around the occasional crack. Artists without an organizational partner are matched up a few days before the event with a “client,” according to Kathy Montagne, one of the event coordinators.
Here are some highlights from the street art spectacle.