Bar Art Gallery

Michigan is, unfortunately, a place where al fresco chalk art is an impractical medium for several months of the year. Luckily, Ann Arbor is home to a handful of dining establishments with chalk-friendly tabletops, and the proprietors are willing to indulge the impatient scribblings of a sidewalk artist waiting for snow-free pavement to return.  All of the drawings below were drawn on these ersatz street surfaces with chalk and charcoal, and endured until the spot was wiped down for subsequent diners.  I am grateful to the staff and owners of Café Zola and Blank Slate Creamery for their tolerance of this cabin fever cure.

15 thoughts on “Bar Art Gallery

  1. Dave,
    I received a copy of Temporary Presence for Christmas and was blown away by the cleverness and humor of your sidewalk art. I love it.
    I am convinced that there would be a market for note cards and writing paper with images of Sluggo and Philomena especially if the paper were
    gray and textured simulating a cement sidewalk.
    Where were you during the late 1960s when all I ever saw on the sidewalks of Ann Arbor were peace symbols and anti-war slogans?

    • Hello, Gary! Thanks for your suggestion; I apologize for taking so long to respond. I am working on a portfolio of postcards and greeting cards using photos of my work; they’re currently only sold locally in Ann Arbor, but I’m hoping to add them to my on-line store as soon as I figure out how to group them effectively.

      I have also done some custom framable drawings on rough paper as you describe, but it’s always much more of a challenge than drawing on the sidewalk. I guess Sluggo and Philomena don’t like being put inside a box. 😉

  2. I love your Art. You inspired me I would like to learn and practice this medium. Can you recommend some necessary art supplies to start out? Thank you.

    • Wonderful! I whole-heartedly endorse your plan. Literally any chalk or pastels will do, but I highly recommend also having some kind of charcoal handy for shading and shadows. I use vine charcoal, sometimes called “willow charcoal” . . . but even just a burned stick will do.

      Also: never underestimate the value of smudging. If you don’t like getting your fingertips dirty, use a rag, sponge or cheap gloves.
      Happy drawing!

  3. Living down the road a piece– Livonia, Mich.–,I’ve become quite fond of Sluggo and all David Zinn’s little sidewalk critters. I was,needlessly, overjoyed at receiving “Temporary Preserves” as a Christmas present from a good friend and her family. Now I can enjoy all these little chalk “gems” whenever I like.

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