Flash Sketch Mob

by Bill Batson

On June 16, 2012, over 100 artists came together in Nyack to create a composite landscape portrait of the village. The often solitary act of making visual art was transformed into a public performance as part of ART WALK, an annual arts festival. Professionals and amateurs, adults and children stood 12 paces apart along a half-mile stretch of Broadway to capture every inch of this busy river village thoroughfare. This experiment in collective craftsmanship created an extraordinary work of collaborative art. The combined effort of almost 200 hands produced feelings of unity and wonder in their wake.

The work of the Flash Sketch Mob is presented here in a slide show curated by Kris Burns with a sound track provided by Nyack resident and professional composer John Gromada. There is also an alphabetical index by name and image in my column on NyackNewsandViews.com

A local multimedia artist, Burns produced Hopper Happens, a public art program that was the featured event of last year’s ART WALK and commemorated the 40th anniversary of the Edward Hopper Arts Center. Her tribute to Hopper, that unfolded over weeks and included readings; flash mobs and projections inspired the Flash Sketch Mob. The process of converting the work of the Flash Sketch Mob into a captioned and coherent slide show has been herculean. This project would not have been possible without the vision and talent of Kris Burns.

Gromada, a composer who recently won a Drama Desk Award for outstanding sound design for Gore Vidal’s Best Man, joined the Flash Sketch Mob with wife Barbara Cohig and their daughters. The sound track for the Flash Mob Gallery includes four works: The Old Masters, Bow Music, Prelude to a Kiss Act II and Toby and Andrew.

The Flash Sketch Mob will now be transformed into a Flash Sketch Map. The artworks will be combined to create a digital street-view map of Nyack.

The Flash Sketch Gallery contains the work of over 90 artists (and one poet), but none of this would have been possible without the efforts of 44 volunteers who shared their time and unique talents to accomplish this goal. Without these volunteers and generous support from the Village of Nyack and several not-for-profit organizations and local businesses, this community art event would not have been possible.

Thank you for making last year’s dream a June 16, 2012 reality.

Bill Batson,
Organizer, Flash Sketch Mob

Untitled Poem submitted to the Flash Sketch Mob by local poet and activist Diana Wilkins

Remember the brick/ red/ dusty/ a story that has too many/ words not/ enough time/ this is what/ we/ think we remember/ before pavement/ and bell towers/ cobblestone like sin/ tells time/ poems not spoken/ we are/ the spoken/ the un-written verse of yesterday’s punctuation/ this is untold/ told over again/ again, over/ over/ like erected building/ handmade plaster/ too many semi-colons later/ I sit here/ looking for that 4-leaf clover/ the wish in between the sedimentary/ rock/ and top of sky/ sprouted with tree branches/ this reminds me of/ us/ her/ them/ the un-told story/ a love/ lost/ forgiven and re-found/ there is a love letter below the brick/ stamped/ waiting for/ you/ I/ go ahead/ open your eyes/ tell me/ what it speaks/ re-tell this/ differently

Special thanks to some of the people who helped turn a good idea into a great event.

Nyack Mayor Jen Laird White Valerie Nivar
Orangetown Supervisor Andy Stewart John Papas
Kim Cross, Executive Director, Nyack Center Hal Parker, The Corner Frame Shop
Paulette Ross, P.Ross Boutique Ivan Pazlamatchev
Barbara Atwell Carlo Pelligrini, Amazing Grace Circus
Sue Barrasi Sylvia Petersen
Kris Burns Ann Pierre-Jean
Barbara Caress Wendy Pierre-Jean
Giveler Durandisse Jim Politi, Nyack Village Administrator
Annie Edwards Richard Quinn, Nyack Village Theatre
Joseph Giannella Ryan Robert Richardson
Jan Haber, The Nyack Villager Angie Sampath, Nyack’s Little Schoolhouse
Ellen Hilburg Matthew Seig, Rivertown Films
Nicole Hines Shantel Sellers
Andrew Hurst Betty Smith, CustomShirtPlace.com
Tracy Kachtick-Anders, Vincent’s Ear James Vital
Glen Keene, Esq. Shameeka Webb
Brooke Malloy-Ortiz Andrew Wellington
Loraine Machlin Jack White
Poku Mensah Mary White, Nyack Village Clerk
Pam Moskowitz, Nyack Farmer’s Market Ray Wright
Jane Newman Dave Zornow, NyackNewsAndViews.com
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