TAKOMA PARK — Residents gathered Sunday to celebrate in the annual Takoma Park Street Festival, bringing together artists, musicians, and craft makers.
“It’s exciting to see people come together from throughout the community and to see the amazing art and craft work done by artists from around the region,” said Takoma Park City Council member Kacy Kostiuk (Ward 3). “One of my favorite things about the Street Festival is that it’s an opportunity for pedestrians to take over streets that are usually filled with cars.”
Lined along Carroll Avenue in Old Town Takoma, the festival drew painters, photographers, sculptors, and musicians from across the region, all attracting onlookers, who also had the opportunity to make purchases.
Baltimore painter Mark Cottman, 60, displayed abstract paintings of famous figures such as saxophonist Charlie Parker and pianist Stevie Wonder using bright colors. Cottman described his work as “vibrant conscious art.”
Aside from painting, Cottman reproduces his work on polymer and aluminum, using a process involving special ink and special paper.
One of his works features a pixelated bicyclist, which Cottman said he created on a Palm Pilot.
“I burnt out three Palm Pilots doing hundreds of those drawings … it got too expensive, so I stopped,” he added.
Bob Julia, a photographer from Bethesda, specializes in close-up photography of plants and animals. He explained that when taking photos, he uses crowdsourcing on social media when selecting which photographs to publish.
“The ones that get the most ‘likes’ I figure are the most popular,” Julia added. “I sort of use group-think to figure out which ones I think are going to be the most popular.”
Part of Julia’s work also includes photographs with digital distortions. One of his photos features a minaret in the center with a section of the roof manipulated to wrap around the foreground.
“I just play with it and after a while, I start liking it … the trick is stopping at a certain point because you can keep going,” Julia said.
Originally from Takoma Park and now residing in Baltimore, 26-year-old Audrey Strawderman draws inspiration from traveling the world.
“A lot of my work is experimental; I like to work with new mediums and also work with my own experiences … I do a lot with what inspires me at the moment,” she said.
Strawderman, who works at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, makes print and resin plates, using a variety of materials. Pointing to a piece that resembles islands in a tropical climate from the air, Strawderman explained that she often experiments with a variety of paint colors and materials.
Julie Christenbury, 45, a painter from Washington, D.C., emphasizes social justice in her work. Using images cut out from books and magazines, she, like Strawderman, uses a variety of materials to make abstract and composite images.
“It seems like there’s a lot to discover when you look at each piece,” she said, pointing to several of her pieces that had been inspired by contemporary issues, such as overfishing, animal abuse, identity theft, and the Trump presidency.
Approximately, 200 vendors participated, according to Main Street Takoma.