The 3rd Annual Chalk Festival turned Sarasota’s Historic Burns Square into a walk-through museum with awe-inspiring artwork chalked on every crevice of South Pineapple Avenue and Oak Street, attracting an estimated 100,000 visitors from around the world. The precious artwork was so admired; the City of Sarasota extended the road closings another day and a half, officially closing the three day event at noon on Tuesday, November 2, 2010.
Celebrated for being the first International Chalk Festival, over 250 artists from near and afar, including Lori Escalera and Edgar Mueller, demonstrated their talents in the 500-year-old performance art. Masterpieces depicted this year’s Halloween theme with 3-D frightening images of witches, skeletons, and vampires. Other distinctive artwork included portraits, famous characters, and architecture that appeared to jump out of the pavement. While all the artists received praise for their pieces, the Festival awarded four artists with prizes. First place was awarded to Italian artist, Valentina Sforzina; second place to U.S. artist, Jay Schwartz; third place to Netherlands artist, Leonardus Keer; and the final People’s Choice award to U.S. artist, Cecelia Linayao.
Commenting on the success of the event, Denise Kowal, event chair, shared, “Over the months of planning and during the Festival, everyone involved formed a tight loving family. We all shared the same desire to make this the best 1st International Street-painting Festival in America and we succeeded!”
While this year’s festivities had to end, the dates for the 4th Annual Sarasota Chalk Festival have been announced as November 4 – 6, 2011. The event will again be held in downtown Sarasota’s Historic Burns Square. The theme for next year’s Festival will revert to the more traditional Madonnari art form; educate visitors on the history of the 500-year-old performance art; and feature an enclosed area celebrating the human form in its most natural state.
About Sarasota Chalk Festival
All proceeds from the Sarasota Chalk Festival (chalkfestival.com) benefit Avenida de Colores, Inc., a 501c(3) non-profit organization that provides students with experiences and instruction in the visual and performing arts, and enriches the community with cultural events. For more information, contact Denise Kowal, Event Chair, at 941-374-4790 or visit the website.
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