Only the Festival Fairy knew when and what was on schedule for the day,
but except for that the event was a lot of fun.

Santa Maria Autumn Arts Festival, 2004

10-OCT-2004

Chalk Artist Folklorico Folklorico Folklorico Folklorico Folklorico Folklorico Folklorico Folklorico Folklorico Folklorico Folklorico Folklorico Folklorico Folklorico Folklorico Folklorico Folklorico

The Germans have Oktoberfest. Santa Maria has the Annual Grapes and Grains and Autumn Arts Festival. Or maybe it's the Autumn Arts and Grapes and Grains Festival. I can't remember. Maybe it's neither. But it's good clean fun, unless you happen to be one of the chalk artists.

It's the usual sort of California Street Fair. Vendors, local and sometimes national, show up with canopies, flyers and wares. Santa Maria Parks and Recreation also pops for some live entertainment. This year they really hit the mark with JaBluzz, a tight electric band who did solid covers of well-known tunes and, I believe, some of their own compositions. Good stuff.

In addition, there were Folklorico dancers which is always a colorful show. As usual for the street fair scene, photographing the entertainment was a challenge because of "busy" and/or unpleasant backgrounds. The dancer seen here is much more appealing without the distraction of people and trash cans in the background.

I also got wound up with the chalk artists. Well, mostly one, actually. The girl had a lavendar sweater which seemed to match the pastel hues and saturation of the chalk works and I thought the similarity would offer the best images. Backgrounds were invariably distracting, but I managed a few photographs that weren't too adversely affected. I realized toward the end that the lavendar sweater had lost it's initial advantage, and had become a less bright and more multicolored vestment through an accumulation of chalk. Still, a few fun photographs came of it all.

The band, JaBluzz, was splendid. Harsh mid-day light and background issues precluded any Great Works of Art, but a few personalities emerged from the photos. My best visual opportunities seemed to be with the drummer. Red hair, red drums, and I was able to get nearly within the drum kit for the shots. The guitar men were more difficult to photograph, primarily due to distracting backgrounds and clutter. I got an image of one which I think is accurately descriptive, but the other photos of the guitar men were unremarkable. Near the end of their last set, late afternoon, I had a little help from light on the keyboard man, giving an edge to his profile and a blue sheen in the highlights.


Images Copyright © Ed E. Powell
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