Little Chicago Street Art Throwdown accepting entries

Brandon Paykamian • Jul 21, 2017 at 10:18 PM

Local artists will get a chance to show off their art at this year’s Little Chicago Festival August 11-12.

Create Appalachia, Nelson Fine Art and the Johnson City Downtown Merchants Association are partnering to sponsor this year’s Street Art Throwdown, in which there will be an urban art demonstration on Buffalo Street and three separate art competitions.

Last year, there was only one category, the Tiny Art Throwdown. This year, two categories, the Glass Wall Gallery and the Chalk Masterpieces Throwdown, have been added.

Cher Cornett, president of Create Appalachia, said many of the pieces showcased will be what many consider “unconventional art.”

“The ‘tiny art,’ which is my personal favorite, is taking things like pipes and jumbled bricks and creatively transforming them into something else. This was more of a conceptual, imaginative category,” she said.

For the Glass Wall Gallery Throwdown, artists will be challenged to create “framed” works of art by using water-soluble paint on the windows of Main Street.

A cash prize and “Street Master” Best of Show Award will be awarded to each outstanding artist or team who submits their pieces to a panel of judges for each category. The public will also get a chance to vote with pocket change for the People’s Choice Award.

Last year, artists utilized chalk and used objects to create small pieces of art, transforming everyday objects into imaginative art by turning drainpipes, sidewalk cracks and holes in brick walls into works that “demonstrated the talent and depth of our local artists.” 

“We're really looking for big, crazy pieces of art — optical illusions and that kind of thing,” Cornett said.

Last year, Christina Majic won first place for her piece, “Suspicious Characters,” which turned sidewalk pipes into a humorous piece of art that featured various characters. Her work was appreciated so well that it remained in place, so this year’s visitors will get another chance to see this piece.

There is a $10 fee for each category. Artists may enter up to three pieces in each category for one fee. Artists must be 12 years old or older.

For the Chalk Masterpiece category, there is a $25 fee for each team to enter. This category combines storytelling and illusion to create works of art on asphalt and concrete. For this challenge, teams of two or more are encouraged to create large works in time for judging.

Teams from schools, churches, creative businesses and other organizations are encouraged to enter. According to a press release, the goal is to “cover the city with art.”

“When you’ve got a lot of art around, people feel more pride in the community because it makes everything more visually interesting,” Cornett said. “A lot of people think art is highbrow, but really, it's all about creativity.”

Another addition is an art scavenger hunt, which will give children a chance to hunt for the tiny art created by each competitor. Prizes will be awarded to the child that finds and takes “selfies” with the most pieces. The hunt is free, and children can register for the competition at the Create Appalachia booth on Main Street on Aug. 12 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Artists may register at www.littlechicagostreetartthrowdown.eventbrite.com.

Entry forms can also pick picked up at Nelson Fine Art, and from other merchants on Main Street in downtown Johnson City. For more information, contact Cher Cornett at [email protected] or visit their website at www.createappalachia.com. 

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