2018 Featured Artists
In honor of the Bakersfield Museum of Art’s hosting the 20th annual Via Arté Italian Street Painting festival, this year’s featured artist has participated all 20 years and is made up of a group of Kern Counties finest artists.
The event’s first year, Art Sherwyn enlisted the help of his family and students. A group of about seven sat on the ground together and recreated (in their own way) a Picasso painting. The team was hooked.
The team has changed a little since the first year, but some familiar faces remain. Each member has a different job, which fits their skill set. Eloy Covarrubias, a former student at Wasco High School, specializes in realistic detail. Kaytie Conley, a former Stockdale High School art student, specializes in design elements such as typography and architecture. Art teacher Linda Hyatt has contributed to some of the team's most boastable portraits and figures. Liz Sherwyn, along with her dad, handles both portraits and background imagery. Additionally, Michael Reuland, Clare Rossetto, Vikki Cruz, and Carlos Fierros (Liz’s husband), all talented artists complete the team.
Over the years the Sherwyn team has won numerous awards including several best-of-festival. Their works are consistently popular with the crowds for their vibrant color, refined technique, and compelling message.
In the festival’s early years, the team experimented with recreating famous works of art, while altering the work to create a new, unique style. Later, works were created to promote a social or environmental issue such as smog, litter, drought, peace, and diversity.
Due to the 20-year anniversary of Via Arte, the Sherwyn team decided to create a piece that celebrates BMOA’s landmark. The artwork will feature a birthday party with a special guest list, including Whistler’s Mother, Michelangelo’s David, Vincent Van Gogh, Rene Magritte, and Salvador Dali, among others.
While the team usually works on a 12’x12’ square, this year’s surface will double to a massive 12’x24’, the largest work ever completed in Via Arte history.
After twenty years, the team is still thrilled to participate. Group texts begin months in advance expressing excitement for the upcoming event. Linda, Art, and Liz meet with each other to discuss ideas, then begin creating an image using a digital collage method. Once a final image is reached, they project the image onto four separate pieces of butcher paper, which together, create a complete 12’ x 12’ image. The papers are then perforated using an electric pouncing machine, which burns small holes in the paper as you move a tool along the line. On the initial day of work, the paper is put onto the ground and chalk is pushed through the pounced holes, which creates a duplicate image onto the ground. From here, the team begins. The Sherwyn team uses their tried-and-true method of layering the chalk without smearing it, using small motions to create brightly colored bold shapes.
This year’s team will include: