Washington Square artists warm hearts on a chilly Saturday in November

Listeners are invited to lay under the piano to hear music in an entirely different way. (Photos by Tequila Minsky)

BY TEQUILA MINSKY | On this past weekend’s gray Saturday, surprisingly few students were hanging out and absent were the usual hordes in Washington Square Park.

But, hardy New Yorkers, not kept away by the autumn chill, and tourists that just had to see the park, continued to stroll the walkways. While lingering, park goers enjoyed the master artists creating that day.

Classical music warmed the hearts of all in earshot with piano maestro Colin Huggins, a weekend regular on his baby grand. Meanwhile, Joe Mangrum, knee pads in place, designed an intricate— and they’re always different— vibrant sand painting, its dimension expanding on the plaza near the arch.

The sun set hours before as Joe Mangrum continues to add to his sand painting.
Mangrum adds purple to his intricate sand painting.
A detail of Joe Mangrum’s sand painting created on a chilly gray Saturday.

Long after the sun was down, these two continued to delight the public practicing their art.

Huggins stood on the piano bench inviting any listeners to lay under his piano and experience the vibrations and hear music in a new way. There are always takers.

Colin Huggins about to begin the last song of the evening, “Clair de Lune,” invites listeners to lay under the piano.
Colin Huggins about to begin the last song of the evening, “Clair de Lune.” Listeners lay under the piano.

Even after the chartreuse and bright orange sand painting looked finished, Mangrum got back on his knees to add swirling golden sand, curvaceous tails attached to the design.

Joe Mangrum adds a swirling yellow tail to what looked like a finished sand painting.
Continuing to create past sunset, Joe Mangrum add to his intricate vibrant sand painting.

Daytime or early evening, phone and cameras came out for mementos of these iconic Village artists as they created.

Why were they there so late? Mangrum was asked. “It’s gonna rain tomorrow,” he explained. Both are weekend regulars, and visitors won’t be seeing either the next day.