Each year I look forward to Urban Scrawl, a two-day arts festival held in Columbus’ Franklinton district. The festival includes food trucks, music, jugglers, and break-dancing competitions, but the central attraction is the collection of oversized panels lining the festival grounds. Each one is turned into a large-scale work of art. This year 59 artists participated.
The paintings are auctioned in the annual Art for Franklinton fundraiser, which benefits the area’s George Bellows grant program. The George Bellows Grant awards funding to organizations and individuals investing in arts and culture in the Franklinton community.
I am always impressed by artwork on a large scale. Big canvases and panels make a strong statement. Collage and sculpture allow incorporation of large elements, often providing the initial sense of size and balance for the work. Painters, however, must proportion the design effectively, often beginning with a much smaller sketch. Drawing a grid over the sketch allows the painter to maintain proportions while transferring the composition to the larger surface. Most of the artists I observed were working with acrylic paints and large brushes, but a few used spray paint.
It was fun and fascinating to walk the grounds, look at the paintings, observe the artists, and enjoy the music and festive atmosphere. Urban Scrawl is one of the most interesting events in the Columbus area, and one that provides an impressive positive impact upon the community.