Sunday, November 7, 2010

Chalk Festival brings together artists from Florida to Italy

The First International Chalk Festival in Sarasota brought together artists from across the U.S. and Europe.  The level of artistry was amazing, and encompassed both three large 3D works, and also the traditional madonnari style street paintings.  The 3D paintings started a couple days ahead of the weekend event.  Each work was completed by a team of 3-5 artists.  They began by laying down paint and then going in to add details with chalk, as the crowds waited in line to stand at the apex of the work so they could view it in the correct perspective.  The traditional chalk artists (my daughter and I included), started VERY early Saturday morning - 6:30 am - before dawn's early light!  We used some white tempera on certain areas of our work, because the asphalt was very black.  Some artists blocked in large areas with colored tempera, which I think is kind of cheating.  I prefer to have all the color done in chalk.

This was the first time I had done a "recognizable figure", as I usually do reproductions of master paintings or my own photos and designs.  This picture was from an original painting by Alex Ross for the 70th Anniversary of The Wizard of Oz.  People really connected with this character and I can't tell you how many times I heard "I'll get you my pretty".  It was popular with all ages, too, as both seniors and young children recognized the character.

We worked til dusk on Saturday.  It got really hot (in the 90's) and most of the artists really slowed down in the middle of the day.  I was in total sun from 10am - 6pm.  Sunday we got back to work around 8am.  Both Carmen and I finished about midday (about 2pm for me).  Sunday was also very hot, which was why I was trying to get done earlier in the day.  As you can see from the photo at the left, there were a lot of people in costume both days.  Attendance was great, much better than last year, probably about 30,000 each day??? 
Judging was around 3pm, but the awards presentation wasn't until 6pm, so we had to wait around.  The best thing about the festival was getting to connect with so many other artists who all have the same passion. 

1 comment:

Peter Pascal said...

Beautiful banner at your site as well, I am reminded of some wall paintings by the Mexican artist, Diego Rivera, such as
this one
. You browse more murals of his at