Street art, chalk dust, rainbow magic

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a local primary school as a guest artist. I presented to Grade 5 students who were working on an art enquiry. I’m pleased to report that my work was enthusiastically received. However, some were concerned about the ephemeral nature of chalk and what happens if the work gets ruined by weather or human interference. Here’s a little of what I shared with them.

  • It seems kind of special when a rainbow appears in your day, doesn’t it?

  • Is a rainbow only beautiful when it is a complete arch across the sky?

  • Does a rainbow have to be there permanently in the same spot for it to be meaningful?

As a matter of fact, it’s possible that a rainbow’s elusiveness contributed to its magical qualities.

That’s how I see my street art. They don’t have to be perfect to make someone’s day. The whole world doesn’t need to see it for it to be significant.

Roughly a year ago, I received a message from a stranger through social media. She found out that someone she loved passed away that day. When she later came across my chalk art, it felt as if that person was sending her a message that all will be ok. She wanted me to know how much that meant.

I didn’t know she was in pain. I did not create the piece for that kind of impact. Yet, it was there for her to find, and it spoke to her in ways I probably couldn’t in person. I placed a rainbow on the pavement. She found it. That was our little shared magic.

She may have gone back to the same spot since and the chalk would have washed away. But maybe the nondescript patch of concrete wasn't quite so boring anymore.

You know, you and I? We’re ephemeral too. We are rainbows. Who will you shine your light on?

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