Annual Fountain Square festival is a cultural celebration
I was sitting at a folding table in front of the Fountain Square library branch for five hours. Usually, I’m not the kind of person who likes to wait. But on this masterpiece of a blue-sky September day, I was happy hanging out along Virginia Avenue as poets and prose writers brought me their entries for the Written in a Day contest.
From my table, I saw writers sitting on sidewalks or in doorways scribbling in their notebooks next to artists at their easels, painting or drawing or sculpting entries of their own for the Masterpiece in a Day art contest. Next to them, musicians with upright basses and fiddles played bluegrass tunes or strummed guitars and sang “Light My Fire.” I know I wasn’t the only observer noticing how Phil Campbell’s creation, which turned 9 on Sept. 20, had grown into a cultural celebration in the heart of the city’s thriving art scene. The writing contest, which started last year, had 70 participants. Dan Hook, who won the fiction contest, is a Herron Art School student who lives in the neighborhood. Lou DeBruicker, who finished third in poetry, and Tyler Eads, who finished third in fiction, are teacher and student at Broad Ripple High School. Morgan Burris, the winner of the 11-and-under portion of the kids writing contest, came with her dad, Tim, who competed as a poet. Some of the artists, of whom there were nearly 100, also took the time to write poems or stories for the contest. It was a day blending the arts, bringing people together to create, to watch creation influenced by a place rich with history, rich with reality, rich with imagination. I can’t wait for next year.
Four Antique Meditations by Anne Laker I. Two-tone Turquoise Periwinkle Gown These are the threads of the dead Silk baked under the heat of clammy pits at the ’64 prom. I try it on, but I don’t have boobs for it. The nearby one-legged silver mannequin is poised to kick my ass. II. Tina: The Story of a Hellcat Here’s some pulp fiction in a Ziploc bag, copyright 1954. Tina’s on the cover in her black negligee and anarchical eyebrows. She’s worn out from too many college boys, too much hooch. A random sentence reads: “braised beef and hot tea made her feel human again.” I want to be a hellcat too, walk loudly in heels, leave ennui and sweat in my wake, a torrid terrorist. III. Oversized Building Chunks Opera’s playing here, where stained glass goes for two grand. The Mother of God, an elephant, and a cartoon hamburger hussy (Frisch’s Big Boy’s sister) lie in wait. Take this crumbling empire and sell it as décor. Stuff ages too quickly in America, and in Fountain Square. IV. Mentholated Ointment Tin Active ingredients: camphor and petrolatum. An agreeable ointment, the writer wrote, Good for slight burns and scalds, chigger bites, rectal irritation, and cosmic discontent.
The spaghetti my dog ate(Inspired by a Vlasek Hails painting in a Fountain Square cafe) by Morgan Burris One time I was eating spaghetti I noticed my dog staring at it I tried to distract him But he kept staring To my surprise he waited until I was done So I said come here boy And he hopped up on my lap And when he got down My spaghetti was all gone The end
Watching From the Windows by Daniel J. Hook The ladies are gone now. But their flower print dresses hang in the second floor windows on wire hangers. They are always there. Keeping watch over Virginia Avenue. They see a man across the street push his easels and supplies in a grocery cart. He must be a local. Just below the window they see an upwardly mobile foursome walk by, each in red sweaters or red shorts. Stopping to see the artsy types before going to the football game. A game at one of those schools that wears red. It’s a good view from the windows. But the flower prints can’t see around the corners. In the bank lot there is a yellow skeleton of the fountain on canvas. The pretty young artist works near a girl who bends and shows her butterfly tattoo. Just above the beltline like the thousands of other girls with bad tattoos just above the beltline. The dresses can hear music. It’s Mexican music. Beating in front of St. Patrick’s as a round-faced Hispanic lady prepares for tonight’s wedding. Across from the heavy wooden doors of the church two men sell cowboy boots and hats. And baseball caps telling us all to Como Chingas. There is so much to miss in the windows. The dresses know who comes and goes from the library, but they can’t see who buys books at Value Village. Where the books are sorted by colors. Red and blue books are usually the best. But don’t underestimate the white books. The dresses have no idea that a man just paid 50 cents for a pair of used green suede shoes on Prospect Street. Or that heavy layers of red have turned to copper on foil behind the Murphy building. Near the tree growing from the old blue chemical drum. But tomorrow will be back to normal. The flower print dresses will see a neighborhood woman walk by with an Aldi bag. And though they can’t see it all they will know that an empty 40-ounce bottle of King Cobra will lay in the alley behind Topcat Motors. And that a man is reading Choices of Evil at Peppy’s. A worn out three of spades marking his page.
Masterpiece in a Day winners Representational 1. Jason Dorsey 2. William Lawson 3. Penelope Kline Non-representational 1. Susie Starks 2. Kipp Normand 3. Jo Legner Written in a Day winners Poetry 1. Anne Laker 2. Jen Hammons 3. Lou DeBruicker Fiction 1. Dan Hook 2. Doug Simon 3. Tucker Eads Kids 11-under 1. Morgan Burris 2. Cody Honeycutt 3. Martez Besse 4. Anthony Schumpert 12-14 1. DeAundre Sharpe 2. Megan Honeycutt 3. Megan Olmstead 15-17 1. Samantha Hawkins