Chalk it up: New board inspires

November, 2015 Posted in Arts, Culture & History, Community
Third Avenue Chalk

Third Avenue Chalk

By Mary Owen

Chalkboard art is alive and well at the corner of Third and East Marion in downtown Stayton.

“When I heard about the original Before I Die board in New Orleans, I thought an interactive art mural would be a perfect fit to create some energy on Third Avenue, and now it’s a reality,” said Rèse Bourdeau, who coordinated the chalkboard project.

Since artist Candy Chang painted the side of an abandoned house in her New Orleans neighborhood after losing a loved one four years ago, some 1,000 Before I Die walls have been created in more than 70 countries.

With funding from chalk sales and help from local businesses, Stayton’s first interactive chalkboard is now attached to the side of the Covered Bridge Café.

“Our first guest artist was MaCherie Doerfler,” Bourdeau said. “She painted a center artscape of trees with her sidekick dog, Junie, in it, and a walkway for others to add their ideas.”

Bourdeau credits the Covered Bridge Café for providing space, Pickin’Coop for saw and building help, NW Preferred Credit Union for donating chalk, and Joe Loveless from J&T Furniture for donating a limited edition art print.

“Neighbors gave time to assemble and paint,” she said. “The build and attach happened Oct. 1-3 with Dennis Hill Engineering.”

Bourdeau said people who walked by the newly-erected board often pick a piece of chalk and start to draw.

“I was shocked and pleased to see how completely the rain cleaned the first full board within a week,” Bourdeau said. “The day after the rain, we removed the first tagging and within two days, art started to fill the space again. Several times I’d walk by and folks would be drawing. Many restaurant guests inquired and were excited to join in.”

The response to the board has been positive, Bourdeau said.

“There has been excitement from everyone who discovers it,” she added. “The city and the city council have been kindly supportive as well.”

The chalkboard is available to artists of all ages and levels of expertise, Bourdeau said, adding she wants to follow her dream to help the Stayton Public Library put up its Before I Die board.

“The core group that made this a reality has already found a magnetic, metal wall to do a fun interactive art mural on, too,” Bourdeau said.

To raise funds for other chalkboard projects, coordinators plan a Fall Chalk Walk festival in 2016, Bourdeau said. “All suggestions and creative energy is welcome to continue this tiny vision.”

For information, call Bourdeau at 503-871-3817.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.