ART BEAT: Barefoot in the Park to feature famous sidewalk artist

Special Photo
Anthony Cappetto from New York City will be creating an original pastel masterpiece at Barefoot in the Park Arts Festival beginning May 6.

Special Photo Anthony Cappetto from New York City will be creating an original pastel masterpiece at Barefoot in the Park Arts Festival beginning May 6.

Barefoot in the Park Arts Festival will once again be filling the Duluth Town Green with beautiful art of all types on May 7-8. However, the festivities will begin earlier this year, with a very special "Art Walk" happening the evening before the event, featuring two unique arts events.

This special "Barefoot Art Walk" will prepare festival-goers by introducing them to the incredible talents of sidewalk artist Anthony Cappetto from New York City. Cappetto will begin creating one of his sidewalk-art masterpieces on the concrete facing West Lawrenceville Street near the Park Cafe entrance. Also being offered is a most unusual fashion show. Four of the Gwinnett County Library System's branches have created fashions made entirely of "repurposed books." Models will be on hand adorned with these fashions for attendees to admire.

The event is free, and the attitude is very casual, according to Barefoot Executive Director Caryn McGarity.

Partiers can also be the first to get a peek at the many fine visual artists who will be in the process of setting up their tents for the weekend's festival.

"Come get a first look at our Barefoot Artists' Market," McGarity said. "You can even be the first to select your favorite pieces of art and make some purchases!"

The Gwinnett Public library System's fashion show is a joint effort created by approximately 18 Library employees from four different branches. The results of their creativity are four dresses made entirely of books and magazines that would have been otherwise discarded.

GPLS spokesperson Barbara Spruill said, "We have some very creative people across our library system. Making these dresses took a lot of time and a lot of helping hands."

The dresses will be modeled by librarians and include a "flapper style dress" with beading made of recycled magazines; a "Garden Dress" complete with lattice work and a skirt made of paper petals; a "Manga" dress with images and cuttings from discarded Manga books; and a "mystery dress" which will be unveiled at the event.

"We are so excited to have this partnership with the Gwinnett County Public Library as they join forces with us to bring the arts to our community," McGarity said.

Having Cappetto at Barefoot this year is a real coup for the event. Barefoot Founding Board member Cindy Sutt said, "This is just exciting. 3-D sidewalk masterpieces are just amazing. To think we will be able to watch Anthony create one of these originals is awesome."

Cappetto began creating large pastel works on paper for exhibitions in 1997. On a trip to Italy in 1999, he saw pastel chalk art as street paintings, and it was a natural evolution for his artwork. He has been active in street painting since 2001 and has participated in festivals throughout the United States, Mexico, Italy, the United Arab Emirates and Japan. His company, Art for After Hours promotes street painting and street painting festivals throughout the world.

For more information about Cappetto and his fellow street artists, visit his website at www.artforafterhours.com. For more information about Barefoot in the Park Arts Festival, visit www.barefootinthepark.org.

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. Email her at hcalmes@mindspring.com.