RACINE — While thousands of people Partied on the Pavement Saturday, a few handfuls of artistic types drew on it.
In the middle of the intersection of Sixth Street and College Avenue, a 12- by 18-foot chalk mural of Racine’s old Coast Guard station slowly took shape over the course of the day. It was Spectrum School of the Arts and Gallery’s second annual community art project, led by Spectrum Director Denise Zingg.
Working from a photo Zingg took of the harbor, organizers roped off the mural area and marked 54 2- by 2-foot squares. Anyone who wanted to fill in a square was handed a cut-out piece of a photo and given chalk and a square of carpet to kneel on.
“All the comforts of home,” said Tom Simonson, who chronicled the project in photos for Spectrum, 610 21st St.
“The majority (of participants) have been average people coming by,” he said, including many students who have taken art classes here or there.
Simonson said: “At an event like this, it lets people who are not going to stand and drink beer participate in something, if they want to.”
Party on the Pavement was inaugurated 10 years ago to celebrate the end of a two-year reconstruction of Downtown Main Street.
This year, as a new element, organizers invited crafters to set up booths. There was jewelry, birdhouse art, floral arrangements, tie-dyed T-shirts, metal sculptures and more.
Laurie Manchester of Racine exhibited her “plate flowers,” yard art she sells under the trade name Aurelius Pickle. Manchester buys old dishes, bowls, cups and other kitchenware and glues them together in such a way to suggest large glass and/or porcelain sunflowers.
Nearby, Erin and Denny Manders sold crocheted creations under her business name, Knotageek, as well as homemade soaps.
“It’s been pretty good,” Erin Manders said. The chilly, blustery day stimulated sales of her crocheted hats.
Along Wisconsin Avenue, people showed off their classic and antique cars while the Racine County Sheriff’s Office had plenty of interest in its recently acquired SWAT vehicle.
Sheriff’s Deputies Scott Butler and Jon Beckman said the Casspir armored personnel carrier was originally used by the South African army. The roughly 30,000-pound vehicle features a V-shape body designed to deflect the blast of land mines, bulletproof windows and side gun ports.
Other new Party on the Pavement features this year included The Mania, which is a Beatles cover band, and a hot dog eating contest.