Asphalt as a canvas |

Asphalt as a canvas

Emma Garrard/Sun News Service

Local artists used pastels on an asphalt canvas during the eighth annual Italian Street Painting Festival last weekend at the Cal-Neva Resort Spa and Casino.

Artists expressed their creativity using an array of colorful pastels and a variety of subjects. After two days of rendering with pastels, 36 colorful street paintings covered the parking lot.

Truckee resident Ceci Bahr rendered Captain Jack Sparrow from the latest installment of “Pirates of the Caribbean” on the hot asphalt as she looked at a photo of the character played by actor Johnny Depp.

The street painting was an instant hit amongst viewers and fellow artists.

“My family wanted me to do Captain Jack because they were all waiting for the movie to come out,” Bahr said.

“It’s pretty cool,” said 9-year-old Alex Gemetti.

For some, creating a square was a family affair.

Incline residents, the Pobers ” Lionel, Jackie, Valerie, 8, and Rachel, 11″ all chipped in to render a street painting of Yogi the Bear carrying a picnic basket.

“I thought bears were appropriate for Tahoe,” Jackie said as she worked on a section of the painting covered by an umbrella. “It’s great fun, but it gets hot out here.”

Artist Beth Cayce of Tahoe Vista decided to render two local women firefighters, Nicole Paynter and Kim Vail, in her piece ” taking home best of show honors in the process.

“I just think what they do awesome,” Cayce said. “I wanted to be a firefighter growing up.”

The pair of firefighters immortalized in chalk stopped at the festival on Sunday to see Cayce’s work and to tell the artist they were honored.

“I thought Beth did an amazing job,” Paynter said. “I thought what she was trying to portray was great.”

Organizer Ruth Schnabel of CalFest, an event planning company, said she admired Cayce for using the firefighters as her subject.

“Beth feels strongly about these girls,” Schnabel said. “Along with the entire fire fighting community.”

Schnabel said she organizes the event for the love of art and the creative process. She donates the proceeds to local nonprofits and scholarship programs.

“I get to view incredible art,” Schnabel said. “It’s my gift to the community.”

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