Sidewalk Art Shut Down

Several days ago I went to do an art piece for the Nutcracker Dinner and show at The Melting Pot. I woke up at 7am, excited that the rains (more like monsoons) finally came to an end and the sidewalk was just dry enough to draw my piece.  I had gridded it out the night before because it is impossible to do a piece that size without some sort of plan. The Nutcracker art included the ballerina, the Nutcracker Logo and some chocolate covered strawberries to tie in the fondue resteraunt.

The piece we had planned to draw. 

The grid we planned to use to get the proportions and sizing right.

Due to the rain we were going to be tight with time since I needed to be done by 1pm.  So we got everything set up as quickly as we could. Zach and I argued about the grid I'd drawn like we usually do. The process is very complicated and can come out wrong if we grid it to small or large and faces are particularly tricky because it is hard to draw an eye or a mouth if it is gridded on a crack in the sidewalk. We learned from the first project, The Yellow Brick Road piece that the bricks were complicated to draw on...  We finally settled down and I started with drawing the ballerina's face due to its complexity.  I have come a long way with my sidewalk art skills and can now manage my time better for the work ahead.  I began to shape the face and plot out where the ear would be and Zach marked out where to put each letter for the logo.  But this time however, our work was quickly brought to a hault as the Midtown Blue Public Safety cops rolled up in their truck...  

They called Zach over and he talked to them.  Basically our project was not allowed.  Someone high up at AT&T complained about my art and they said we need a permit to have a "sign" on the property.  Apparently AT&T leases their property to The Melting Pot.  I was really upset and I went over and asked them "why would anyone not like my art"?? I had to walk away to hold back my tears.

The cops gave us the name of the person at AT&T who complained and told us to contact them for permission.  They also said that they have been filming us doing other projects to build a case against us and to fine us.  I couldn't believe what I was hearing.  When they saw how upset I was however, thay told us we could continue as long as we washed it off.  Zach and I did not think it was the best course of action to continue our project because they had just told us it was illegal and they were making a case against us. They would just have more reason to charge us and to take whatever actions they were plotting.  I also didn't understand why the AT&T person didn't just come talk to us or Melting Pot instead of involving the police.

So we left without a project.  I cried over it for a while. I couldn't believe that someone would complain about my work. We contacted The Melting Pot as soon as we could to inform them about the situation and to see what could be done.  They are great people and love our art and what we do for them.  Most of the pieces are for charity events for the Children's Hospital of Atlanta and it is always a special moment to see the looks on the kid's faces as they see their name written on the sidewalk with art all around it.  Layla and Mark, the owners, plan it all and are so giving.

Mark contacted AT&T and they said that they all love the work we do and enjoy seeing it on the sidewalk each time.  They don't know why anyone at their workplace would complain.  So now we just have to wait to see if that indevidual will allow it to continue.  My fingers are crossed and I am hoping to get to keep using the sidewalk as my canvas for all who pass by to see.  It is a wonderful feeling to be able to share with the world what is in my head.  I have a passion for art and I feel as though it was pulled from me today. I am grateful for the opportunity to put my work on display. It has been a good run and I have enjoyed every minute and so has Zach.  I hope all of this can be resolved and I can continue to bring color to Peachtree Street.  

The following are pieces I have done recently. Enjoy!

The Grinch piece was for the Pure Imagination Charity event dinner and show.

Zach is amazing.  He always helps out with thw words. 

This is us all covered in chalk after the Grinch piece.

Lathan and Brandon were thrilled to have their names written in chalk beside the Grinch.  Brandon was a patient at Chilren's Healthcare of Atlanta.  Lathan helped make the dinner and show happen for him. 

I love The Grinch story!

He is stealling a tree.

Can't forget about his doggy Max!

I said in jest "Some people just don't like having their self-portrait drawn." about the person who complained...
I look aweful all covered in chalk... but I sure do love doing it!

This piece was to promote The Melting Pot's 12 Days of Giveaways on their Facebook page. They are so giving!

Santa's footprints led to the door. It read "It Pays to be a Follower"

I love how the hat and gift came out.

Merry Christmas!

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