Artist to turn Dowagiac streets into art at Summer in the City

Published 9:22 am Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Local artist Danny Bloss will be creating an 8 by 8 foot piece of art using chalk during this weekend's Summer in the City in Dowagiac (Submitted photo).

Local artist Danny Bloss will be creating an 8 by 8 foot piece of art using chalk during this weekend’s Summer in the City in Dowagiac (Submitted photo).

In the thick of winter, when the wind chill takes the single digit temperature and plunges it below zero, you’re likely to find local artist Danny Bloss behind a chainsaw and a chisel.

“Ice sculpting is my passion,” he said.

When it warms up, Bloss still tries to keep his passion alive.

“If you keep it in the shade, even in the summer, it will be there all day,” he said.

But at Dowagiac’s Summer in the City this weekend, Bloss will be wielding a much different weapon of art: a piece of chalk.

On Friday, July 17, and Saturday, July 18, Bloss will take an 8 by 8 foot square of concrete at the corner of Front and Commercial streets and transform it into a masterpiece. As a new amenity added to this year’s festival, Summer in the City organizers hope Bloss’s chalk art will be a hit with those who have attended the festival before as well as those who are attending it for the first time.

As for what creation he will decide to display on the Dowagiac streets, Bloss is undecided.

“Probably a parrot or a goliath moth,” he said.

Bloss said that part of the fun of chalk art is that a crowd will form even while he is still drawing the piece.

“You do it for the people,” he said. “Kids like it, and it brings people to the event.”

Bloss has skill in many different kinds of art. A cook at Notre Dame for nearly 26 years, Bloss has worked with everything from chainsaws and ice to pencils and paper to create magnificent art all over the country.

“Wood is the hardest,” he said.

With chalk, however, Bloss is a bit of a rookie, only having worked with it for two or three years. But with all of his previous artistic experience, he said, he had no doubts that he would be able to master it quickly.

“I knew I could do it,” Bloss said.

He said the performance element of chalk drawing made him a little nervous at first, but now, especially with all of his experience in ice sculpting for a crowd at festivals like the Hunter Ice Festival in Niles, the nerves are gone.

“Now, it doesn’t bother me at all,” Bloss said.

Bloss will begin his art on Friday and continue through Saturday where his son, Jake Bloss, who also creates chalk art, will help him finish the piece.

Dowagiac Summer in the City will run from July 16-19 in downtown Dowagiac and boasts more than 50 hours of entertainment.

For a full schedule of events, find the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce on Facebook.