Featuring over 250 artists, this year's Stone Arch Festival of the Arts will play host to a variety of outdoor-friendly activities. Theater, dance, children's performances, and music will be on five stages, including sets from Terry Eason, Romantica, and the Martin Devaney Band, to name only a few. Sunday features a truly unique art activity: Local painter Damon Cuccia will demonstrate his affinity for art on wheels by creating an art car. Guests of all ages are invited to participate as well.
DC: It's a 1999 Chevy Grand Am. The guy that owns the car wants it painted with a Star Wars theme. So we're doing images, characters, and scenes inspired by the movies. I've done several car projects like this; we do it to promote the art cars and the parade. We've done them at the Midtown Farmers' Market, and one at the Spam Festival in Austin, Minnesota. Kids are fascinated, and parents are sometimes mortified. Everyone can help paint sections.
CP:Do you own other art cars?
DC: The name of my art car is Tropical Splendor. It has a tiki theme. On one side I have Easter Island heads. On the hood I have a Japanese woodblock print where I copied the famous Hokusai's The Great Wave Off Kanagawa. On the other side there's hula dancers and a band. I have a ukulele player, a slide guitar player, and a bongo player.
CP:You've created 10 or so art cars over the years. Is there an idea that you'd like to create but haven't yet?
DC: It's hard to come up with themes. With other people's cars, they have to live with it, so I adapt ideas to what they want. I didn't know I was going to do a Star Wars car, but I am excited to do it. I was one of those kids that saw it 10 times in the theater. Lately, I have wanted to do an Animal Farm car, the George Orwell book about exploitation. It's an odd story. I was kind of nervous because the pigs are a big part of the story; their oppression of the other animals is a parallel to the Bolshevik Revolution. I got kind of paranoid because the police might take the pigs the wrong way. I don't want to do anything too inflammatory! It's public art, and with the tiki theme, it just seems like something everyone would like.
Damon Cuccia will be painting between noon and 5 p.m. Sunday during the Stone Arch Festival. The rest of the festival is free Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more info on the festival visit www.stonearchfestival.com, or call 612.871.4444 for more art car info.
June 14-15, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., 2008