I was honored to return as event artist for my 5th year and the 13th anniversary of Cruisin’ the Boulevard, Petaluma’s Salute to American Graffiti. Creating a painting to become the foundation of the Cruisin’ program and printables is a process I adore and anticipate soon after the boulevard is cleaned up after the previous event. Early in 2017, there were already whispers of inspiration and plans for this year, but life is filled with surprises and sometimes there are very large bumps in the road.
Sonoma County residents will never forget how the firestorm changed our community. Generations will define their lives by this catastrophe, remembering where they were and how they were affected. No matter what the depth of loss, first responders rushing into the fire zones as thousands rushed out symbolized hope, comfort and courage during our deep despair. Members of the Cruisin’ the Boulevard team started wondering how they could acknowledge the fire victims and first responders in the new event art, so with some collaboration, I painted another hybrid scene (old and new, altered geography and characters) with Petaluma’s D Street Firehouse as a glowing companion for our beloved classic cars and nostalgia for the 2018 Cruisin’ the Boulevard painting. Together with the hard-working CTB team, we hope this scene satisfies the truest fans of American Graffiti while reminding us all that some of the greatest stars drive fire engines, police cars, ambulance, motorcycles, fly helicopters, airplanes and answer 911 calls. To first responders of all kinds, this year’s Cruisin’ the Boulevard event salutes you!