Boots Up For Art

August 31, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Posted in Art Exhibitions, Art Studio | 1 Comment
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It’s 22” tall, 30″ in diameter at the widest point, and a weighty 75 lbs. or so.

It’s a painted concrete boot!

You may have heard of  Chicago’s 1999 “Cows On Parade” which started the public art phenomenon in the U.S. Since then there have been public displays of artist’ painted horses, dogs, cats, lizards, fish, cranes, guitars… about anything imaginable with themes often reflecting geographic locations, local history or regional culture. These art projects highlight community creativity and can raise funds for area non-profits.

Many of the sculptures used are cast fiberglass, manufactured specifically for this type of undertaking. However, Shirley Davis, of  The Kern River Valley Art Association found concrete boot blanks in Kingman, Arizona, considered size and price and thought they would be “A do-able public art project” for this region. History here reflects early California mining, and ranching; one of the towns, Kernville, is home to the annual Whiskey Flat Days with a Wild West theme, so a western boot design is fitting.

Still, I never thought I’d be painting one. Or that it would be so engaging and fun!  Or that I could drum up a pretty good rhythm on its partially hollow shape!

The boot was given to me already primed. Then interior/exterior gloss enamel of two or more coats was used on the surface, making it very reflective in photos.

The design is asymmetrical. I love the interesting, visual tensions created with that approach. Also, I had a blast mixing hues, there are seventeen various tints and shades used; they contrast and create tension in the design also. Use of color pulls together the four distinct sides of the boot. An idea that developed while working on it was that various color areas represented different musical genres. There are painted notes on the front.

Kick Up Your Heels is the title of the boot. Have fun, create, dance, and make music!

The boots are for sale to area merchants for public display. Money derived after costs will go to local art education programs organized through the KRV Art Association.

A reception will be held this Friday, September 3, 2010, at the Odd Fellows Hall in Kernville, CA from 5-8 p.m., with all of the colorful boots on display.

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