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The Easel Revival Installation

I transformed a discarded easel into an interactive canvas, inviting passersby in Charlotte's vibrant neighborhoods to engage in spontaneous artistic expressions


In a stroke of luck, I drove past an easel/drawing desk abandoned by the roadside, seemingly destined for the dump. Despite its worn condition and lack of immediate use, I saw a glimmer of potential, a chance to breathe new life into this forgotten canvas of creativity.

Reviving the Easel:

Determined to give the easel one last chance, I loaded it into my Jeep and brought it back to my studio. With a colorful array of sharpies, paint, oil pastels, and a paintbrush, I adorned the easel with vibrant ammunition, transforming it into a blank canvas awaiting artistic expression. Running low on craft supplies, I tied a paintbrush to the easel using thin metal wire. My last few sheets of Bristol board served as a quick and simple solution to create a canvas, securely glued to the easel. Adding a playful touch, I found humor in gluing everything to the easel to create an illusion when tilted at a 45-degree angle. With the knowledge that this easel was heading for the trash anyway, I didn't hesitate to drill holes in its bottom and tie more sharpies using zip ties. The process was quick and dirty, I didn't have a plan in mind and was low on resources, yet still proved how simple and easy creating interactive art can be.

Setting the Stage in NoDa:

With the revitalized easel ready to go, I drove down the street to NoDa, Charlotte's vibrant art district. The bustling streets seemed like the perfect stage for my experiment in communal creativity. I paid a nominal fee of $10 for parking - which was the entire out-of-pocket cost of this project. Armed with a bold black sharpie in hand, I wrote "Draw on Me" in the middle of the paper, making the intention of this project very clear to passerby. Taking a seat at a nearby bar across the street (Stu's Barrel House), I eagerly observed the project come to life.

A Burst of Creativity:

Without delay, the response was overwhelming and heartwarming. People from all walks of life paused, eager to contribute their artistic touches to the canvas. Flowers, smiley faces, and uplifting messages like "move forward," "you are loved," and "never give up" adorned the canvas, turning it into a collective piece of art. Simple paper and markers on the street had brought about a small yet powerful positive difference in the lives of those who engaged with it. Leaving the easel in place for an hour, I witnessed its instant popularity and the joy it brought to everyone around.

The Journey Continues in South End:

Surprised by the immediate success in NoDa, I decided to carry the easel's journey further. South End, another colorful and high-traffic area of Charlotte, beckoned as the next destination. The “Rail Trail” is a pedestrian friendly sidewalk with over 2,000 users per day. Once again, the transformed easel drew people like a magnet, inviting them to play, express, and connect. I left it there for a few hours until an accidental spill of yellow paint finished the project.

A Living Work of Art:

As the project neared its conclusion, I gently gathered the final "painting," a vibrant tapestry reflecting the shared creativity and joy of countless individuals. This living work of art found its place of honor, proudly displayed on the wall of my studio, a testament to the magic that unfolds when creativity and community intersect.

The Easel Revival project stands as a heartwarming testament to my passion for creativity and the belief in the transformative power of art. In breathing new life into an abandoned easel, I unleashed a wave of joy, inspiration, and human connection. This artistic journey showcased the quick, easy, and simple possibilities of creativity and the enduring impact it can have in uplifting spirits and bringing people together.

stopped to create

1/4 passerby

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