Unlike last year’s gloomy skies and light drizzle, the 2017 edition of the Syracuse New Times Street Painting Festival was met with picture-perfect conditions. More than 60 artists took part July 29 during the 27th annual downtown Syracuse fest, held on Montgomery Street near City Hall.
On the sidelines, Coco the Clown and her team of face painters returned for another year of etching colorful artwork onto various kissers, while a Cam’s Pizzeria food truck served up slices for artists and onlookers alike. New this year was an inflatable basketball hoop, used for a 50/50 raffle in which players shot until a basket was made, then shot until they missed, for $2 a turn. Whoever recorded the most baskets in a row claimed half of the pot at the end of the day. The other half of the money benefited Two Brothers Light, a nonprofit that specializes in suicide awareness. $86 was generated throughout the day.
There was plenty of variety in this year’s artwork. Some artists elected to go with mainstream subjects like the lead character from Finding Nemo, the Minions from the Despicable Me movie franchise, and even a portrait of Lady GaGa. Others went with more animal-oriented vibes such as tigers, elephants, turtles, a snake and a rhino.
Local artist and designer Tommy Lincoln’s pavement piece featured his distinctive cartoon style on the corner of East Washington and Montgomery streets. This year’s work was a furry animal sporting a jeans vest and pointy shoes.
Amiah Crisler won the youth division for her drawing of an eye-popping peacock; she said she got the idea from her oil painting class. Different shades of orange, green, yellow, blue and more leapt off the sidewalk square in Gisler’s hues-drenched depiction. “I’m really happy because I don’t really win stuff,” she said, “and this is my first time winning something like this.”
In the teen division, Hailey Terchowitz came away with the top prize this year. For her illustration of a three-eyed tiger made up of light colors, Terchowitz used a type of chalk that gave the piece a softer appearance compared to traditional street chalk.
Terchowitz has competed at Street Painting each year since 2014; in 2016 she also won the People’s Choice award and placed second for teens. “I love being surrounded by the other fellow artists,” she noted. “I always make a lot of new friends. I just love admiring all of their work.”
Eric Williams was doubly victorious by winning both first place for the adult division and the People’s Choice award. Williams, another frequent flier at Street Painting, has competed since 2005.
His piece was drawn from a photo he took while on vacation in Wisconsin with his family. It features two prominent silhouettes of his daughter and a girl she befriended on the trip. Williams said his favorite aspect of competing in the festival is that he gets to participate in it with his daughter.
“There are a lot of cool pieces here, so I was a little surprised I got both,” Williams said. “That’s pretty intense. I was surprised to get first place to begin with, much less the People’s Choice, too. I was surprised people liked it that much.”
To view Michael Davis’ photos of the event, click here.
Street Painting Winners
- First Place: Amiah Crisler
- Second Place: Faith Gayring
- Honorable Mention: Esai Acevedo
- First Place: Hailey Terchowitz
- Second Place: Anna Perry
- Honorable Mention: Lauren Fuigel
- First Place: Eric Williams
- Second Place: Tony Clubine
- Honorable Mention: John Landers
- Eric Williams