What do 3d chalk art, music, art, film, acrobatics, cosplay, stunt riding, graffiti, projection and break dancing all have in common? 18 Degrees! (The festival that is.)
Held in the beautiful northeast India state of Meghalaya, 18 Degrees rocked the city of Shillong for an entire weekend of culture explosion. Having been officially invited to participate by the Ministry of Culture of the state of Meghalaya, I was eager to travel to the mystical northeast as I had heard of it’s alluring natural beauty and cultural diversity, a combination unique to the region. 18 Degrees enjoyed it’s second year anniversary this year, with more to offer and more attendees. Several thousand youth from all over the region dropped in for the 3 days of fun to witness all the above. Amazing musical acts from the region, Bollywood singers, Northsyde from the UK, Olympic level acrobats from Poland and the Ukraine, and yours truly, an American 3d street painter who was there to demo just how to create an illusion to interested attendees.
Working with 3 local artists on an exhibition painting – Careen, Caspar & Wanphai – we created a quick ‘Star Wars’ themed image, which demonstrated basics elements of effective 3d design layout. Never having done chalk painting before, each of my new friends eagerly jumped in and lent their talent and expertise to the image. These guys did just not want to stop! After we wrapped the demo painting, I took the team outside for an on site pavement demo. With 75 students watching, we quickly drew up a basic geometric pool, to their marvel, and soon had teams of students clamoring for boxes of chalk to make their own drawings! In short order all the teams banged out their own 3d images and had a lot of fun with photo ops and their friends. Mission accomplished! I love teaching this art form, especially to enthusiastic youth who dive right in & this was no exception.
18 Degrees is coordinated by some pretty savvy folks out of Guwahati. I must express a BIG thanks to Anis, Rishi, Abhishek, Vinod & their extended über fun team!