Wednesday, November 18, 2015

An Amazing Fall Festival....

Every year about the second week in November, there is a big weekend where the Chalk Festival takes place AND the International Siesta Key Sandcastle competition happens on the same weekend. WOW! Sparky's favorite of the two is the Chalk Festival. It used to be held in Sarasota, and the festival leader didn't get the best help from the city as far as support and assistance, so she moved it to the beautiful city of Venice, where it begins at the Venice Airport grounds. It is the ninth year for the festival. Tens of thousands of people show up to see incredible pavement paintings in chalk. Ten dollars to park your car at the airport where the festival begins, then free bus shuttle service to downtown for more artwork.

This year's festival theme was "Eat, Drink, and Be Merry." At the airport, there is an emphasis on the art of 3D which Venice is becoming renowned as far as the largest demonstration of 3D chalk art drawings. The one they did last year, of a shark, held the Guiness Book of World Records for awhile. For these record holding chalk paintings, they used Sherwin Williams paint to preserve the painting. Sparky saw a little girl posing a few minutes before this couple and she was being coached to pretend scream while they took her photo. It costs 5.00 to go up on a viewing platform to get the full effect of the 3D artwork.

And here is this year's 3D attempt at the Guiness Book of World Records....A 22,000 square feet of runway pavement artwork titled "Feast of the Gods".
This year they added some music venues with local and regional bands, and a "senior vertical wall" where senior citizens could do their own chalk graffiti without having to get down on their aging knees. Sparky and Eldo declined to participate in that. :-)

After viewing some cool 3D artwork on a smaller scale.....

Sparky and Eldo hopped on a free luxurious bus shuttle to downtown Venice to see more artwork. The shuttles ran back and forth constantly. It was great not to have to stand and wait for another bus when ready to return. No set schedule, just coming and going as soon as a bunch of people got on the bus.

The street was beautiful....The colors were eye popping. The artists work 12-14 hours days over a period of about three days to create this amazing art.

You can see the grid markings as this painting was being worked on. The artist works from a smaller gridded drawing on paper or tablet, kind of like those "learn to draw anything" art courses from years ago, where some of them used grids. Anybody can copy lines inside a single square and then color them, right? HA!

The artists' talents were amazing!

The artwork goes up and down West Miami Avenue in the heart of Venice....

There were so many wonderful photographic moments....It was hard to pick out the photos for the blog today! Sparky loved looking at the artists' tools of their trade....Oooooohhhh, so many pretty colors!
And this funky chalk holder....with the funky drawing underneath.....
Another shot of an artist close up, Sparky loves the colors from the photo and in his hands compared to the kids' shirts and hands...

Here they are, hard at work....You are right there, just a few feet away, so you can ask questions if you want to...We just watched in awe while they created.

The details of the eyelashes on this one were the conversation of the day from the bystanders...
Most of them wear gloves while they work....And they aren't afraid to get down and get dirty!
Like this gal.....

A fabulous day in downtown Venice today....Sparky leaves you with this particular shot from another angle, it's her most favorite of the day.... Come back soon and see the sandcastle competition, the blog will be back sooner rather than later! :-)   Bye for now......


  1. This sidewalk chalk art is beyond amazing to me. We have a chalk street festival in Grants Pass and I had no idea it had become such a huge national thing, with the artists traveling all over the country to compete in their art. The 3 D stuff truly is amazing.

  2. we made it to the chalk festival one year and were simply floored at the art... wished I'd known it was happening we might have made the road trip up to see it...

  3. Love the chalk art , up close and personable, some mazing creations to be seen.

  4. Wow I just really need to get to this and the sandcastle. You two definitely picked a place to live in the midst of some great things to see. Great photographs of these amazing drawings. There must be a big prize(s) for these artists to work for days on something the first rain will ruin. Venice was very smart to grab both of these festivals but boy the traffic in that little area during this week must be nuts.

  5. It's absolutely amazing the way they make them look 3D. Beautiful! I'm ready for some beach time :)