Fish out of water

Last year artist Joel Yau painted a shark at the Grind event at the Carson Warner Memorial Skate Park.

UPDATE: The Grind event has been postponed, according to the city of Healdsburg.

Cool tricks, jumps and creative art will come together later this May at the third annual installment of the Grind, a two-day art, skating and open-mic event at the Carson Warner Memorial Skate park that aims to bring youth together for art, music and fun.

The weekend event will kick off with interactive chalk creations from Bay Area artists Jolene Russell and returning artist and graphic designer Joel Yau.

To get the creative juices flowing there will also be an open mic available to anyone who wants to showcase their talents.

“They can play music, tell stories or poetry and just have time to show their talent,” said Matt Milde, facilities and events supervisor for the city of Healdsburg and coordinator of the event.

However, the main event of the evening will be getting a chance to see the artists at work.

Russell and Yau will create their work on the skate park itself using tempera paint — a water-soluble paint — and chalk to fill in details.

This isn’t Yau’s first street art rodeo. Yau got started in the street art circuit in 1996 and last year at the Grind he painted a shark bursting out of the water on the raised part of the bowl.

This year the San Rafael-based artist plans to paint an eye-catching T-Rex coming out of the slanted concrete.

“They wanted something 3-D and I’ve done some of those before but it is a lot of work,” Yau said. “But my goal is to do an image that people look at and say, ‘Oh that is cool!’”

And while Yau typically focuses on painting faces and 1940s “pin-up” style portraits with a “timeless and nostalgic” vibe, he said he still enjoys doing the stretched, 3-D-looking work since it evokes different imagery.

This is Russell’s first time participating at the Grind, yet she is no stranger to street art. Russell doesn’t quite know what she’ll paint yet but she does have years of experience for inspiration.

“I’ve been doing street art since 2001 and went to San Rafael High School in San Rafael where they have the biggest street painting festival,” Russell said. “I did it and I loved it.”

In addition to doing street art and large-scale art and murals for retail and residential spaces, she said she likes to also work with challenging and interesting media such as fabric and light to create visual interest.

“I like lighting and reflection. Last year I did a piece with prism light,” Russell said.

For the Grind event, she said she definitely wants to do something with a 3-D element.

“I’m excited to do something new,” she said.

The second day of the event, May 18, will incorporate the skating portion. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. folks can come out to see the artists’ work and view skating and scooter demonstrations as well as participate in a skating competition.

Milde said the competition will be laid back but there will be a panel of judges and kids can sign up the day of to participate (participants must wear helmets).

“We’ll have little prizes for the winners,” Milde said.

There will also be live music, light snacks and ice cream available to purchase from Amy’s Wicked Slush.

As Milde put it, the event has something for everyone.

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