Love Park gets artistic with Canvas Clash

By Kerry English
October 9, 2008

kerry english

Skateboarders and the homeless made room in Love Park on Saturday, Sept. 27 for Canvas Clash, a free art-based event that encouraged artists, musicians and spectators to spend an afternoon with art.

One of the head organizers, Meredith Eldow, 27, co-producer, was all smiles at the sight of the event. Her goal of Canvas Clash was “to get the city interested in doing more art-based, free events,” Eldow said. Canvas Clash achieved just that and Eldow described the turn out as “way better than we expected.”

The light rain didn’t keep people from enjoying the events at Canvas Clash. Fans of the band the Peace Creeps were dancing around the stage and yelling for the lead singer. Sponsors were set up in booths around the perimeter of the event giving away freebees and promoting their company. Artists had work displayed everywhere and were working on other projects throughout the afternoon. Maroon-shirted volunteers floated around making sure the event was running smoothly and everyone was having a good time.

Ryan Gagnon, 28, sales executive, came out with his girlfriend to enjoy the days events.

“There is no sense of competition between the various artists, no one person is on a higher platform than the next,” Gagnon said. The crowd was able to have great interaction with the artists, and the artists in return were able to introduce themselves and get feedback from spectators.

Artist Nicole Delrossi, 24, chose to display her work at Canvas Clash because of the upcoming presidential election. Delrossi considers herself a political artist and almost all of the work she showed was inspired by America’s politics.

“I’m in my happy place,” Delrossi said.

Utrecht, an art supplies company and sponsor of Canvas Clash, was giving out free messenger bags with samples in them. Samantha DiLacqua, 19, a representative working the booth for Utrecht, believed Canvas Clash were doing a great thing by uniting artists and getting local Philadelphians to come out and admire their work. “Our supplies make people aware anyone can be an artist,” DiLacqua said. Utrecht’s goal was to spread the word about how it doesn’t matter if you’re talented or not, enjoying art is all you need to be an artist.

David Solan, 22, artist, worked throughout the day perfecting the collage he spray painted on the side of an old van. Solan is no stranger to Canvas Clash.

He’s participated in events before in West Philly and loves it. “Any chance I get to paint something, I always do it,” Solan said.

Tirna Nog, a local Irish bar and grill located just on the outside of Love Park, was also a sponsor of Canvas Clash.

Meghan Strain, 23, waitress said, “We’re neighbors so we try to do things together as much as we can.” Tirna Nog has done other events with Love Park and hopes to continue to do so in the future.

Jarmel Reitz, artist, 24, said she loved being a part of “events that are family friendly and nice.” Reitz had a tent set up with three fellow artists where they were painting wooden steps. “I like how everyone is around doing their own thing. But then in the end, it’s the together project.”

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Kerry English

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