Im scribbling on the side of a parked van and thinking This is great. Heres a guy, parked at the curb on North Davidson Street, and people have written and drawn pictures all over his vehicle. Im not gonna be left out.
But my conscience was clear, because the owner had printed The Roaming Chalkboard Draw Something! on the side of the van, which had been painted black (or perhaps stripped of its original paint) so passers-by could leave their marks. He (or she) had thoughtfully clipped cups full of colored chalk to the front windows on both sides.
Folks had written obvious stuff (Tarheels #1) but mostly attempted to be bizarre (I have a mermaid costume for my cat) or philosophic: Though dreams be sweet and imagination divine, reality returns.
I wrote Not all learning can be quantified, as a tribute to teachers everywhere drowned by inane testing regulations.
I waited a bit, but the owner/driver didnt come back. I salute him in absentia: He liberates people to write anonymously, inspires creativity and gives pleasure, which is more than most of us can say. And he fit right in with his location: NoDa remains the place most likely to hold a creative surprise like this.
As I drifted in and out of nearby art galleries, I was struck not just by the quality of the work one can see high-quality art all over Charlotte but by its imaginative elements. Creators had found ways to repurpose everyday objects, to find utility or beauty in things cast aside or overlooked. They saw differently from the rest of us and made us see, too. If theres a better definition of an artist, I dont know it.