Baalman wins first-ever Scarecrow Days ‘Art on the Avenue’ competition; ‘Taste’ event draws 400

       Jason Baalman won first place in the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) merchants group's first-ever Art on the Avenue competition Sept. 24-25. Jason Baalman chalks his rendition of Norman Rockwell’s
“Marbles Champion” during the Art on the Avenue event in
Old Colorado City Sept. 24.
Westside Pioneer photo
       Baalman, an Old Colorado City portrait painter/business owner who had warmed up to the task by chalking in a Scarecrow Days-related mural last week on the brick wall along 25th Street, created a chalk rendition of a Norman Rockwell's 1939 “Marbles Champion” painting in the Town Clock parking lot at 25th and Colorado.
       The painting, showing three children playing marbles on the ground, “seemed appropriate,” Baalman said.
       He was one of seven artists (or artist teams) who chalked paintings in the lot's pavement. His winning purse was $100. The winners were decided from ballots submitted by onlookers. There were also prizes for second and third.
       Styled after a European tradition that is becoming popular in the United States, the activity attracted scores of onlookers both days to watch the artists or ask questions. But the medium was not an easy one for the artists. Baalman said the pavement crevices complicated the coloring effort. Juli Jamison, one of the other artists, showed a finger with a popped blister that was oozing blue (the color she was using at the time). “But it is fun to do,” she added.
       “For the first year, the Art on the Avenue was fabulous,” said Lynda Dunne of Colorado Main Events, who helped expand this year's ninth annual Scarecrow Days. “The public really enjoyed it and the artists had a real good time. It's something we're going to do again next year.”
       The event was part of a busy weekend for Scarecrow Days. Also taking place both days was the free Gallery Walk (visits to participating art galleries or businesses that sell art).
       On Saturday was the Taste of Old Colorado City, in which people paid to sample food from 13 participating restaurants. Dunne estimated that close to 400 people participated in the second annual event. “The weather was perfect and the food was excellent,” she said. “Bravo to the restaurants.”
       Proceeds from the Taste will be donated to the Old Colorado City Library and the Old Colorado City History Center.

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