Wednesday, April 4, 2012

New Busker on the Square: Balloon Artist David Perkins

David Perkins makes balloon art for children on Market Square, Knoxville

We've had buskers on the square for a long time. Sometimes they've been hassled a bit, but all-in-all Knoxville seems to have made peace with its inner busker. I've written about a number of them on this site and I always appreciate what they do. I try to support them as I can because they make our city a better place.

Young guy likes the bird - at a distance
A girl with her balloon flower, Market Square

For the most part our buskers have been musicians and singers. Many of them have professional-level talent while others don't have so much. Recently we've seemed to have an influx of the not-so-much variety, but I'm hoping spring brings  a positive change in that direction.

The bird works the crowd, Market Square, Knoxville
Balloon sword fighting to the clarinet, what's not to love?

What we do have is a trickle of different types of busking, which I see as a very positive development. I recently highlighted a magician and a bronze guy (who, by the way, no one knows how to contact, do you?). The latest in this line of alternative busking is David Perkins who makes balloon art for passersby for tips. He is sometimes accompanied by a woman who has a parrot that gets almost as much attention.

Holding the bird, Market Square

Children and a parrot, Market Square, Knoxville

David is also a professional musician and is often heard playing clarinet while children sword fight with his creations. Sometimes they get a bit too enthusiastic and attack urban bloggers, but I digress. David also plays a shofar and sometimes includes a small gong in his act. I'd prefer he leave the shofar and gong at home as they are pretty obnoxious from one end of the square to the other, but the children do seem to love it all.
Children, balloons and Market Square, Knoxville

He actually is available for events such as children's parties at which I'd say he is very good. At the least he adds some pretty cool color to the square. Check him out the next time you are in the city. And tip him when he makes a balloon flower for your child!

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At April 4, 2012 at 12:23 AM , Blogger Ally Gregory-Moore said...

I had brunch at Oodles this past Sunday. After about 10 minutes, I wanted to break that gong myself. So did everyone else eating with me. lol.

At April 4, 2012 at 9:34 AM , Blogger Katie said...

I agree about the gong. The kids love it but it is pretty annoying. Marathon Sunday was wild with all the different "acts" on the Square. We were really enjoying J Luke from the 31 Bistro patio when the gonging first started. But a short time later the woman (or a man?) in period dress reading palms and doing magic tricks was interesting. Not exactly sure how much that person made. And the xylophone player was back! It was an interesting display for sure!

At April 4, 2012 at 12:28 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you'll remember, there was a bit of a to-do over this guy and some zoning requests for his residence in Sequoyah Hills. Look his name up on the KNS website.

At April 4, 2012 at 1:43 PM , Blogger Andrea said...

I love our local buskers and troubadours! It makes me feel like I'm living in a Gilmore Girls episode.

At April 4, 2012 at 6:37 PM , Blogger Knoxville Urban Guy said...

Hey Everybody. I think we agree about the gong, but I do enjoy the balloons and the children having fun. I saw the woman/man, myself, and wondered. I'll have her/him on the blog soon. I love the xylophone guy. Andrea, as the only guy who was ever addicted to the Gilmore Girls, I have to agree there is that quality going on sometimes. As for zoning issues, I don't generally tune in to those things, Mr./Ms. Anonymous, so I'll have to check it out.

At April 5, 2012 at 8:48 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Mr. Perkins is ,ahem, a rather interesting character.

At April 5, 2012 at 9:56 AM , Blogger Knoxville Urban Guy said...

OK. I've looked into it. More than a little weird. Why can' t a balloon guy just be a balloon guy? Sheesh!


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