September 3 was “Tomato Time” at the Belmont Farmers’ Market. As part of our celebration of the tomato harvest, we created an “Art at the Market” tent. Jeanne brought the art supplies, and Heli organized the tent, table, and chairs. We encouraged market shoppers to join us in artful pursuits, offering a variety of paper sizes and mediums: crayons, cray-pas, colored pencils, and markers.
Children were immediately drawn into the activity and were impressively focused on their art creations. Parents and grandparents mostly watched, with contented and pleased expressions. Tomatoes were the primary inspiration, but we eagerly drew all kinds of veggies, fruits, breads, people, and anything that captured our imagination at the market. We were consistently busy throughout the afternoon and we all had a great time!
It was fascinating and fun to watch:
–how accurately the children filled in the colors between the lines of the shapes
–the intensity of the children’s concentration
–their selection and overlapping of colors
–children and parents become enamored with cray-pas
For those of you who don’t know, cray-pas are non-toxic oil pastels. They have a creamy consistency that allows for deep color saturation and easy coverage of the paper. Blending is one cool technique with cray-pas. You can also use them as a “resist” medium with watercolor and achieve other interesting effects.
I think Heli summarized it best:
“Thinking about yesterday still has me smiling! Right from the start with Stephanie’s stilt walking to the very end, the market carried a festive air. To think that your good suggestion, Jeanne, coupled with getting all the supplies, and then adding Anne’s enthusiastic willingness to lend her expertise, talents and inspiration, all came together from a fairly coincidental gathering just a week earlier–well, it really speaks to what public places can do. And of course, the actual afternoon was even more testimony to the value of an inviting public space…
Seeing youngsters with parents and grandparents–people who in all likelihood had never been together around a table before–all happily engaged in creating or watching someone create–it really was heartwarming.”
When the children finished their drawings, they were given the choice of taking their art home or hanging it in our tent “gallery”. At the end of the afternoon, we displayed all of the art at the front of the tent so that we could take these pictures:
I plan to continue painting at the farmers’ market next season. Perhaps we can figure out a way to have a consistent art presence at the market each week. It would be nice to have more art activities, as well as artists presenting their craft and selling their work.
Next: painting at the Sergi Farm.
All photos by Jeanne Mooney.