Montgomery County Residents enjoy time at Arts Parade


Jack Linde

The Wheaton Arts Parade started 25 years ago as a way to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Cleveland Museum of Art. At the parade, anyone was able to become an artist by pushing, walking, wearing or doing something art related. After the two hour parade, guests enjoyed a festival and participated in activities such as meeting the artists, viewing the entertainment and eating food at the nearby Veterans Park.

Poet Hayes Davis read his work out loud at the festival. While Davis doesn’t have a specific focus in his writing, he enjoys how poetry allows him to see the world.

“Poetry can focus your attention on the beauty in life that you might otherwise miss. It can reveal the beauty in humanity and especially I think now when some people are struggling to see the beauty in humanity poetry can bring that beauty forward,” Davis said.

Davis’s wife,Terri Cross Davis, is also poet and has won a Baltimore award for her poetry.She gets to live and breathe poetry as she is the Poetry Coordinator at the Folger Shakespeare Library. She discussed her favorite part of art and poetry in particular.

“It’s the fact that you can express that self-expression and reach a point [where] you express yourself and deeply and as humanely as possible. You create an avenue of connections to others around you,” Terri Davis said.

Another artist at the parade, Alexis Sotomayor, paints mainly with watercolors but also is passionate about art.

“It means a lot. I think art is a beautiful expression. You know I just stick to art and start painting whatever comes to my mind. I like to do painting because you know I can express feelings. It’s a beautiful thing for me to be able to have the ability to paint,” Sotomayor said.

Sotomayor is very proud of the paintings he has created. One may be simple but more valuable than the world to him.

“One of the painting[s] I have done was a background with a window with a hose and a couch because it reminds me of my daughter she is a house lover. It’s a really big piece [and] it’s one of the best I have done up till now,” Sotomayor said.

As Sotomayor’s daughter inspires him, Hayes Davis is inspired by many people as well.

“I’m a big Walt Whitman fan. [I also like] more contemporary poets [such as] Cornelius Eady [and] Linda Pastan. I studied at Maryland with Phillis Levin and Michael Collier,” Davis said.

Sotomayor also offered a suggestion to anyone at WJ or anywhere else who is interested in art but not sure how to proceed or unsure if their art is good enough to be seen.

“If you are able to do some lines or some shapes and make something that’s the beginning of what you can do. So I encourage everybody to use your skills; it doesn’t matter [if] people like [or] people [don’t]like. Art is art. I have seen a bunch of paintings that I say oh, well what is this? I don’t see the point. But other people say oh, this is beautiful. So it doesn’t matter [If] you think your art is not good enough, people should try if they have the abilities to do paintings,” Sotomayor said.