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SCAD Sidewalk Art Contest includes 3-D glasses and lots of great designs

Prize winning sidewalk art - Oscar Selfie
Prize winning sidewalk art - Oscar Selfie
BJ English

Savannah College of Art and Design is one of the largest schools in Savannah and owns more real estate within the historic district than the wealthiest plantation owner of the mid seventeen hundreds.

2014 SCAD Sidewalk Art Festival chalk drawings
BJ English

There is hardly anywhere you can go in Savannah without seeing a SCAD bus or building or a SCAD student who more than likely has red or black hair and rides a bicycle haphazardly darting in and out of moving cars as if they were a messenger in a hurry to deliver some great news to someone important.

Today, many of those students gather at Forsyth Park for the annual sidewalk art contest in which students, alumni and up and coming high school students compete in various divisions including Best in Show, Graduate Student, Gray's Reef award and individual and group categories.

Some of the artwork is less art and more work. Some students draw in grids and lines, while others look at pictures and start in the center and work outward, which is smart considering half the students are covered from head to toe with chalk dust and a few are actually sitting on top of their chalk art while putting on the finishing touches.

The best pieces of art make people stop and stare and cameras come out as crowds gather and fingers point and people laugh and ooh and ah over the pictures appearing first as lines and outlines and then as full fledged 3D portraits.

The school even passes out 3D glasses to view the final designs, though most people would prefer to look at them from their own point of view and admire them au naturale.

The best loved design by visitors and judges was the Oscar Selfie reproduction next to the center fountain, though there were plenty of other interesting drawings from animated characters, super heroes, women that were half beast, a zombie and lots of brightly colored dogs and cats.

The park was packed with the Farmer's Market being forced into a parking lot adjacent to Brighter Day at the south end and high school and alumni branching out at the Y that breaks away from the main pathway.

The lines to see the art were so long that many decided to come back Sunday after the show was complete and view the pieces of art without all the people, though there was a lot of fun to be found and plenty of local food vendors from Leopold's Ice Cream to Roly Poly sandwich shop, as well as SCAD shirts for sale by students and the school book shop for fairly reasonable prices.

It was a fun day full of bounce houses, unique pedal rides, sunny skies and a trash collection crew that actually went around picking up trash as soon as it was tossed or dropped on the ground, which actually seemed to encourage some to pick up after themselves.

There were plenty of earth day themes with one young lady confessing that she chose to do a turtle with the hopes of a local affiliated natural group using it as their design for their next T-Shirt. A few people painted advertisements for local eateries, including a 3-D hot dog and a soda cup from Parker's.

The event attracted thousands, with many coming from out of town just to see the event and later spend time at the beach. For a gloomy prediction of rain and clouds, it was a nice and sunny day. There were hundreds of unique dog breeds out in the park as well, including two huge Irish Wolfhounds, an assortment of poodles and a short hair dachshund, that some girls drawing a dachshund hoped would be impressed and pose with them, but he was on to a greater calling smelling around the base of a trash container and relieving himself on a live oak tree... such is the way with dogs.

On Sunday, the Savannah Striders met early in the park to run the bridge and many stopped on the way back to take a picture of their favorite piece or browse the park and marvel at the talent it took to create some of the pieces.

Most people politely walked around, not on the artwork, still respecting the space it covered.

SCAD hosts a lot of free events, especially downtown. They recently held a movie in the park and played the movie Frozen.

If you are looking for something fun to do in town, there is barely a weekend that goes by when there is not some sort of free concert, art event, exercise training or sport going on to entertain and amuse... and a good time was had by all!