Arcata’s Pastels On The Plaza 2012


For Humboldt locals, the first October weekend of every year means one thing: Pastels on the Plaza. This event pairs artists and businesses to raise money for the North Coast Children’s Center. Each business sponsors a sidewalk square on the Arcata Plaza, and the artists volunteer their time to decorate a square in honor of their chosen business, all for a good cause.

This is our fifth year taking part, and I couldn’t be prouder of my artist, Trevor Shirk. Every year I wonder how he’s going to manage to surpass his previous year’s effort, as I’m always blown away by his work.

This year he took on the ambitious project of transferring our kitten’s sweet personality and fluffy good looks to a sidewalk square in honor of my landscaping business.

This is nothing like sketching on a piece of paper, either. The sidewalk is bumpy, uneven, has little pebbles that don’t take color well, and is nearly impossible to color on with any level of control. Well, that’s how I feel about it, anyway. I did the lettering, and after an hour of meticulous work I was ready for a nap. Trevor sketched from 730am to 2pm to create his masterpiece. And yeah, I’m probably biased, but I think it was the very best one there! Smile

Some other pics from the event:

Pacman! Duane Flatmo
pastels T at work


If you want to see more of the finished squares, Trevor has a write-up of the whole event over at his blog. Can’t wait for next year!


  1. Erin @ The Impatient Gardener says

    A. What a cool event!
    B. Are they using pastels not chalk? I can’t believe how vibrant the colors are.
    C. Yours is absolutely beautiful. It pains me to think it will be washed away.

    • says

      Thanks, Erin! Yep, it’s pastels, so it lasts a few days at the least. Some last a week or more! A few artists do a technique where they mash the pastels up and mix with water to form a paint, and that lasts the longest. It pains me to think of all of that being washed away, too. We always take good pictures, so we have that. But there’s nothing like seeing the entire plaza covered in art.

  2. says

    What a nice event – I need to take in one of these, maybe even participate with my crude skills just for the fun of it. Each post from there, you are getting me closer to finally take that summer vacation from the searing SW:-)

    • says

      You should start one up in your neck of the woods, David! The pastels would last ages there. Though, maybe that’s not a great thing.

      If you ever come through the NW, ice cream’s on me!!

    • says

      Well, Ed, if you ever come on through be sure to let me know. We have some great little shops with local food, and while our local nurseries can’t compare with Iseli for the conifer selection, it’s always fun to nursery-hop, I’d think!

      • says

        I do believe we will do that – we are looking for a lively small community to retire in – someplace with a little more sunshine than we receive around here – and yet close to the coast (and the moisture it brings) is great.

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