Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Chalk Talk of the Town Part I

When we were traveling full time in the motorhome, we always hit every festival we could in the area we were staying in. Now that we are living in Bradenton, we look for the festivals that are in our area. There is NO LACK of festivals here, that's for sure! They are every weekend and they have been just about all summer long. Now the festival offerings are even more varied in type and number since the snowbirds have started coming back…

This weekend alone there was a Medieval Festival which is running for three weekends in a row, the Siesta Key Crystal Classic Master Sandcastle building competition at Siesta Key Beach and a Blues and Brews Festival in Venice. Hard to decide, but Sparky decided to go check out the Chalk Festival in historic Burns Square in downtown Sarasota first. Wowee! It was fantastic! The theme of this year's Chalk Festival is Legacy of Valor, honoring veterans, patriotism and freedom….Very cool subject matter for this year's festival….

It's a six day festival running in November every year….totally run by volunteers and donations from sponsors and the public to bring the artists to Sarasota, and the event is a benefit for the Avenida de Colores Cultural Arts. The public's donations help pay for the artists' airfare, lodging, fees and art supplies.

The artwork covers six blocks! On average, it takes the artists 36 hours to complete their designs. They have a veterans' artist section, two age grouped kid sections, two dimensional street painting, an interactive exhibit, street painting workshops, a chalk artist awards ceremony, and a Swing Canteen dance/USO style show.

Day I--The artists were painting their background blocks with various media--paints, watered chalk, etc. Some were well under way chalking their artwork, some were just starting to map out a grid on the pavement…
a sample illustration

They all have photographs of their artwork that they are working from square by square, and they are constantly referring to their illustrations in hand to transpose the artwork and color to the larger squares.

Some of the artwork is three dimensional, so when painted on the pavement, it's stretched out and elongated, so that when viewed through a special lens, the artwork appears to "pop up" off the pavement! AWESOME! Except today, the artists weren't very far along just yet…..But here's an example of what you look through to see the 3D chalk art along with a painting that's just beginning…..
These guys are from South America, we think….and they were getting a lot of attention from the public with their design centered under a Statue of Liberty made of styrofoam painted to look like the real thing! We'll show that tomorrow….
Everywhere you looked were beautiful chalks just begging to be used….

There were many ambitious projects starting out today….Washington crossing the Delaware….

We can't wait to go back tomorrow to see how things are coming along…Come on back and check it out with us for Day 2 of the Chalk Festival!


  1. I've seen some of the chalk festivals online, not in person. It would be so cool to see it live :)

  2. After our Art festival in Grants Pass I discovered this amazing art form of chalk on pavement. It is truly incredible, and I think the artists are becoming quite well known and do travel about the country to do the work.

  3. Thanks for the preview, we will be back tomorrow, to see the progress.

  4. Wow that's amazing Jeannie. I'd love to see that. You sure have picked an interesting place to settle in. I'd love to do the sand sculpture contests too. Guess I need to come to Florida earlier next year. I could use some warm it's cold and windy here on the coast of South Carolina.