By Malee S. Moua
SCAD INtown Takeover 2.0
The possibility of rain didn’t stop thousands of mothers, sisters and cousins from packing the trails of Piedmont Park for the annual Dogwood Festival. The breeze wafted the savory smoke from Shane’s Rib Shack into the crowd. I was delightfully overwhelmed by my gastronomic options. Around every corner was the prospect of enjoying a sugary funnel cake. The Deadfields, a local country band, sung to the audience, “dot your t’s and cross your i’s.” There was a lively melody of rich conversation, good music and lots of laughter.
I wasn’t sure how I would get around to all of the vendors, but I tried. As I enjoyed one small plate of food, I was at another table grabbing a new delectable dish. The ladies at Five Napkin Burger finished off their sliders with caramelized onions and a dollop of rosemary aioli sauce. I thanked them and sunk my teeth into the juicy burger. The aioli sauce had the perfect texture: creamy and smooth. It was bursting with flavor, and I wondered if they could add a little more just to satiate my new addiction.
I tagged on to the long line for Morelli’s ice cream. From the choices of ginger lavender, chocolate Guinness and salted caramel, I asked for the salted caramel. The salt was rich and pleasantly strong in the dish, helping to bring out the sweetness of the caramel. I was sad to see the bottom of the cup.
Outside of the pavilion I caught the tail end of Stevie Monce’s performance on the acoustic stage. He did a heartfelt rendition of Damien Rice’s “9 Crimes.” It was true to Rice’s version, but Monce’s voice was sweeter and more subtle.
Along one of the artist market paths, the work of Joyce Stratton caught my eye. The rectangular panels looked lacquered in some spots, and then I noticed strips of paper with Chinese characters. Stratton spoke passionately about her art. It takes about three months for her to create a small piece. She uses paper, ink, charcoal and other mixed media and begins a process of addition and subtraction directly on wood panels.
I could attest to that when I met John Booth. I had to talk to him when his large painting of Scrabble pieces immediately entranced me. I had to ask, “Who are your influences?” He replied with, “Man Ray, Kadinsky and Warhol.” I could definitely see the Warhol aspects of his work. There was a compelling painting of man in a suit, but where there should have been a head, it was an iPhone. I was in awe of the hyper-realism in his paintings.