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Artist Feature

Wed, Jun 17, 2020

Chalk Art Takeover in Abbott Square

Inspired by the recent influx of neighborhood chalk art in response to shelter-in-place, we recently wrote a blog post on how to #chalkyourwalk. The blog posts goes into how you can spread joy, solidarity, and fun throughout the neighborhoods through chalk art, plus even includes a homemade chalk recipe and a local artist spotlight. This project then led to a larger conversation about what else and where else we can play chalk art and work with local artists.

Thanks to a great idea from Janice Serilla and an open call out to Open Studios Artists, together we were able to do a chalk art takeover in Abbott Square, our recently reopened outdoor market and plaza. The project features six unique, 6ft ‘social distance circles’ situated around the plaza. Each designed and drawn 100% in chalk by a different local artist found through an open call out to Open Studio artists. There are also some fun little hidden messages for you to find around the square as well.

The art will be debuting on June 17th, 2020, and will be up for approximately 2 weeks depending on the amount of foot traffic and change in the weather.

Visit Abbott Square

Open Wednesday - Sunday from 12-9pm at the corner of Front & Cooper street in Downtown Santa Cruz.

Meet the Artists

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Janice Serilla

I have been artistic in one way or another all my life. Growing up in a creative family fueled my desire to be an artist. I moved to Santa Cruz, CA from Detroit, MI in 2009. Upon moving to Santa Cruz, I was seeking a creative outlet and started volunteering at a local Clay Studio where I created many hand-built ceramic vessels and fun sculptures. From there, I stumbled into sewing and started a handbag line under the name Mackerilla Design. After many years of sewing bag designs, I wanted to return to art. I then started painting in 2014 and have been creating custom portraits, murals, and artwork to hang in galleries.

As an homage to Cat & Cloud, I thought I would draw a cute smiling cat in Abbott Square. I mean, everybody loves ‘Smirky Cat’!
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Janet Allinger

My work can be occasionally irreverent, sometimes thought-provoking, but mostly upbeat and humorous. I enjoy using Adobe Illustrator for my illustrations and graphic design work and a mix of other mediums such as gouache, vintage papers, and pencil to create my fine art.

My social distance circle is my Santa Cruz version of Botticelli's Birth of Venus who emerges from the sea but this time, she's hanging out on Westcliff! @jallinger on Instagram.
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Dennis Scott

I'm an artist originally from Washington, D.C. specializing in 3D animation and graphic design. I enjoy creating art that makes you laugh, think, and feel happy inside. I'm inspired by the wonders of life and the people who inhabit this planet. My goal with my art is to inspire that one person who will change the world.

Waldo on a Unicorn symbolizes whatever happiness you're searching for in life. The happiness that may seem unattainable, the happiness that may seem hard to find.
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Donna Thompson

During the 1980’s I started to go outside and paint, in pastels, so... I guess you could call it a drawing painting. I live in a magical place with the ocean and the redwood forest in my backyard. My ‘plein air’ work celebrated the beauty of this coastal town. It also got me making art on a regular basis. I learned to make my own pastels, which was very handy in creating the colors I needed.

“Cactus Giggle” is part of a series of paintings in my front porch series. I change the perspective and use high contrast with complementary colors to give life to these wonderful plants.
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Jamie Keil

My passion is creating interactive projects and hopes to build a positive and innovative learning space where everyone can explore, play, create, and have fun. Currently, I work at the MAH creating community events. I graduated from UCSC with a degree in art and have worked at a variety of local Santa Cruz elementary schools. Outside of work, I love going to the beach, being outdoors, painting, and spending time with her adorable dog, Annie.

Since COVID, I have been making chalk art on sidewalks as a way to connect with my neighbors. ‘Together We Rise’ is about how we are stronger together. And it's a strange time right now, and we might be connecting in different ways, but it is still very true.