Crowds flock to the Art Along the Rogue Music and Art fest, continuing today
Artist J Maust of Merlin doesn't mind drawing something that will be smudged away by cars and weather within a couple of days.

I don't get attached, said Maust, crouched over a half-finished drawing Saturday of koi carp in a pond. I think it's the journey, not the destination.

Maust's chalk art was among about 50 such drawings on H Street in downtown Grants Pass, part of the third annual Art Along the Rogue Music and Art Fest this weekend.
— Salsa, bluegrass and jazz music reverberated through the downtown air as the street painters, most of them clad in kneepads, blackened their hands creating cherubs, frogs, wildflowers and a woman eating olives off her fingertips on a city street.

Artists from elementary school students to professionals are taking part in the event sponsored by the city of Grants Pass.

Ann DiSalvo of Ashland is reproducing Edgar Degas' Race Horses Before the Grandstand.

She said she chose a classic painting in honor of the chalk art tradition, which began in 16th century Italy.

Artists would memorize a painting because they didn't have cameras, she said. They would do chalk art in the streets for tips, she said. DiSalvo has entered various chalk-art events over the past eight years, but it's not what it was centuries ago, she said.

The tips are terrible, she quipped.

DiSalvo, who recently did a teddy bear illustration for the Providence Medford Medical Center children's play area, said she has a small studio and enjoys the chance of working on something so large and with so many people wandering around.

It's more like performance art, which is really fun, she said.

The mother-daughter team Kerrida and Jessica Liskey of Sunny Valley were working on a piece the mother created, called Corvid Quilt. Corvids are a large family of birds including crows, jays and magpies, and Kerrida drew a different bird in each square while Jessica drew a border with Celtic knots around the edges.

Some artists relied on spontaneous inspiration.

I've never done this chalk art before; this is my first time, said Maust, a sign maker. Not only was it his first time, but it was last minute, he said.
If you go:What: Art Along the Rogue Music and Art Fest 2005.When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today.Where: H Street, between Fifth and Sixth streets, downtown Grants Pass.Cost: Free.