Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Street art - the ChalkFest on Marietta Square, October 2014

Last Saturday, October 11, 2014, we had planned to go to the Fall Festival at the Smith Plantation in nearby Roswell, Georgia, as we have never visited this plantation.  But, the morning sky was very dark and it started to rain lightly.  Instead we decided to go and have lunch at the Australian Bakery, on the Square in Marietta.  When we arrived downtown Marietta the streets were very wet - it must have rained heavily there.  In addition the roads leading to the Square were closed off.  We managed to park and then walked to the Square.  That is when we realized that this was the ChalkFest week-end.

Last year the ChalkFest festival, hosted by the Marietta Museum of Art, had been held in conjunction with the Arts in the Park event during the Labor Day week-end (early September.)  I had written a post on both events, click on Chalk Art in Marietta, dated October 12, 2013, to read it.  We were not aware that this year the festivals were not held together as we were not here on Labor Day.  The sun started coming out and we ate our lunch on a sidewalk table outside the bakery.  From the Australian Bakery we could see the children amusement area.  There was some machine, where the child sits inside an elliptical big thingy and is turned around and around.  I have never seen this machine but I guess this would be fun for kids?  (Click on collage to enlarge.)

This year the Marietta ChalkFest was featuring 40 professional chalk artists from eight US states.  Last year there were only 20 professional chalk artists.  Each artist is sponsored by a business.  The name of the business is inscribed in the street painting as an advertisement for that firm.  On a side road close to the Art Museum was an area reserved for non professional artists, of all ages.  The event started at 10 am on Saturday morning but since it rained, some of the work, mostly the non professional work that had no plastic covering, was washed out.  Work created by professional artist was to be finished on Sunday, by 5 pm, but it rained again on Sunday morning.  I was hoping that the drawings were well shielded so they could be finished.  (The sun came back on Sunday after lunch.)

On Saturday we started walking along the main street around the Square to take a look.  By then the sun was shining brightly and it was around 81 degree F (27 C.)

Some of the artists had placed the model for their chalk art on the pavement.  Of course, because of the delay caused by the rain most of the works were in the starting stages.

Julie Graden is the artist who painted the crow - the two top left-hand pictures above.  I like crow paintings - my blogging friend Stacy of MagicLoveCrow paints some terrific whimsical crows.  On the web site of Julie Graden, click here, she shows also some watercolor paintings, acrylic paintings and more.  She lives in Land O'Lakes, Florida.  Below is a sample of her art.

Stop the Press!! As I was writing the above Sunday afternoon, the sun was shining brightly.  I stopped typing and called my husband "Let's get back to the Square and look at the ChalkFest again!"  He was ready to go, so we drove there (about 8 miles from our house or 12.8 km.)  What a difference a day made - the chalk drawings were about finished.  So we walked around again and I took many pictures.  I'll go back now to the collages that I showed above and find the finished drawings.

Marietta ChalkFest provided a biography of most the chalk artists in attendance.  The bottom left picture above, of the witch with an apple and worm was made by Bridget K. Lyons of Tampa, Florida.  She has been to numerous chalk art festivals.  Below are two more of her street drawings (Courtesy B. K. Lyons.)

The drawing of the girl in a blue dress with long red hair, above, was drawn by Stacey Williams of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  She is also a children's book illustrator.  Below are some of her chalk art.  (Courtesy S. Williams.)

The drawing below, on the right, of the woman's face was done by Cass Womack, who lives in Tampa, Florida and is originally from Minnesota.

There is a certain amount of distortion by taking photos of the ground, the drawings look better if the photos are taken from some height.  There was a professional photographer at the fest, and he carried a ladder with him.  I asked him to take a picture using my Nikon to see the difference.  You can see the result below.  The photo taken from the ladder is on the bottom of the collage as you may have guessed.

The crowd was larger on Sunday afternoon than on Saturday, and it was warmer too - 83 degree F (28.5 C.)  You can see the photographer on his ladder below and the roll of plastic on the center of the road.  It it starts raining, the large plastic sheet covers all the chalk drawings and is sealed all around it.  Then after the rain, a leaf blower is used to blow the rain away from the plastic sheeting.  (Click on collage to see better.)

On Saturday I saw the beginning of Beth Shistle's owl drawing.  I was pleased to see it finished on Sunday afternoon.  Beth is an award winning artist from DeLand, Florida, who has been participating in chalk art festivals since 2004.  She is a talented artist and also a retired elementary school teacher.  Below on the right are two of her other chalk drawings.

People had brought their children and also their dogs.  I do not take close-ups of children unless authorized but people usually do not mind if I take a quick photo of their dogs - there were some cute ones.

It certainly was a beautiful afternoon.  A Marietta policeman was going around on his electric wheels, and the firemen were carrying their first aid kits in the back of their bicycles.  There was music as well.  A gentleman was playing his guitar.  He told me it was a "resonator" guitar.  I asked him if he could make it sound like Hawaiian music.  He placed the guitar on his knees  and played it in a sliding motion.

Passing by an ice-cream shop, we decided to have some and eat it sitting outside.  The trees did not show much fall color yet.

Then we looked at more chalk art.

Some of the drawings that I had photographed on Saturday were finished and looked great.

The drawings shown on the two top right hand pictures above have been drawn by Anat Ronen, a self-taught artist.  She is based in Houston, Texas and is originally from Israel.  Her website shows her art including murals, both indoor and outdoor, as pictured below (courtesy A. Ronen.)

On Saturday afternoon I took photos of some chalk art from non-professional artists, but after the rain on Sunday morning, they could hardly be seen.

Michelle Hawkins (with the beret below) from Orlando, Florida, was finishing her pumpkin themed drawing and joking with on-lookers and fellow artists.  It seems there was much chalk adorning the artists too...

Joel Yau, a chalk artist from San Rafael, California, who has participated in numerous international street art festivals, had finished his heroine from a sequel to horror movie "Frankenstein."  He draws attractive mid-century women faces as you can see below.

By now it was after 5 pm, the fest was over and people were leaving.  Most artists were congregating in the hospitality area reserved for them.  But Joel Yau was helping his street artist neighbor to finish his drawing.

The drawing was a brightly colored rendering of children with a pumpkin.  Being close to Halloween (October 31st) there were many scary faces and pumpkins, in the chalk drawings, decorating shops and also on the Square.

We walked across the Square to return to our car, but stopped by the fountain first.

It had been another fun afternoon on the Marietta Square.  We were pleased that we returned to the ChalkFest and to have seen the usual grey asphalt surface turned into a temporary museum.  There was such creative and stunning visual art with optical illusions and bright colors.  Their canvas was the pavement, temporarily.  This morning I was awaken before 5 am by the sound of sirens announcing a possible tornado.  This was followed by heavy rain.  I thought about all the chalk masterpieces around the Square and felt sad that they would be so soon gone, not with the wind ... but with the rain.


ELFI said...

une envie de prendre les craies et m'assoir sur cette route!
superbes dessins hyper-réalistes!

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

My gosh, that is magnificent! Too bad such art is only temporary, but how nice that you got to experience all that.

Friko said...

What fun! I am sure you enjoyed walking round the drawings and admiring the colourful vista of artists, visitors and even the dogs. I wish I could have been there too. It’s such a pity that all that work gets washed away by rain so quickly, but perhaps that is the whole point of a chalk-fest: to create something which lasts only a short while.

Thank you for taking and showing all these photos.

DJan said...

I enjoyed the Chalk Festivals here in Bellingham until they were discontinued. I have so much enjoyed all these that you have portrayed here, VB. Fantastic and so much fun! Now i suspect most are all gone, after the rain and the storm. :-(

Roger Gauthier said...

Wow, Vagabonde, je n'en reviens toujours pas : quel travail extraordinaire dans la réalisation de chacun de tes messages. Il te faut sûrement un temps fou !

Mais ce n'est pas inutile. Merci de nous amener ici ces oeuvres magnifiques dont je n'avais aucune idée. Et de penser qu'elles n'ont qu'un caractère éphémère… ça fend un peu le coeur. Dans plusieurs cas, les oeuvres méritent sans l'ombre d'un doute le titre « d'oeuvres d'art ».

Roger Gauthier said...

Les commentaires sont-ils en attente de modération ? Je ne vois pas le mien… je repasserai demain pour voir s'il est apparu. :-)

Vagabonde said...

Roger – Oui, je suis forcée de modérer les commentaires car je reçois beaucoup de “spam” beaucoup plus que de commentaires – au moins 25 à 30 par jour! Et quelquefois aussi je reçois des commentaires anonymes « méchants » surtout pour mes billets sur la Libération de Paris. Merci d’être venu ce soir.

Roger – yes I am forced to moderate comments because I receive a lot of "spam" more than comments – at least 25 to 30 per day ! And sometimes I also get some “nasty” anonymous comments, especially on my posts on the Liberation of Paris. Thanks for stopping by this evening.

Geo. said...

We have a "Chalk-it-up" festival each year in our city, but nothing close to the size and skill level of the one you so ably and resourcefully photoed. The degree of excellence among your calcographers is most impressive --astonishing even-- and I thank you for posting their work!

Jeanie said...

These dazzle me. As you know, our Greg is a chalkist and I'll have to share this link with him. Still have a lot of back reading to do on your blog! Soon!

DeniseinVA said...

People are so talented. I loved all that artwork and the town looks really nest too. I would definitely have to check out that Australian Bakery :)

Thérèse said...

Un billet plein de couleurs et de bonne humeur. Il y a un festival chaque annee a Prescott "Chalk it up" ou nous etions une annee par hasard. Il est amusant de parler avec les artistes jeunes ou moins jeunes, grands ou petits. De la bonne humeur assuree.

Diane said...

Wow some great paintings here though some are a little strange. My opinion only though! Also love the pets they are cute. Love those last sky photos as well. Hope that all is well with you both. Take care Diane

The Broad said...

As usual, Vagabonde, your post manages to take one on a journey of almost being there! How wonderful that you were able to see the works develop over a few days and even to get pictures of what happens when it rains. Fabulous!

biebkriebels said...

I like those street artists, they mostly are real artists and it is a shame their work vanishes so quickly. But I suppose the artists can live with that, otherwise they would paint that way.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh là là, c'est genial, ça! Le temps necessaire qu'il faut mettre sur un tel projet, c'est incroyable. Et je voudrais vous remercier de votre commentaires sur mon billet. Les images qui bougent? Oh, c'est facile. Ils s'appellent GIFS. Vous pouvez rechercher GOOGLE, et taper, GIF et le sujet de votre choix. Ensuite, recherchez IMAGES. Voilà! Si vous avez besoin d'aide, n'hesitez pas de revenir chez moi, et je peux vous aider. BONNE JOURNÉE! Anita

David said...

Vagabonde, There was a lot going on in Marietta, that's for sure. Love the gal with the horns! Cute dog photos too. Some of the chalk art is amazing, especially since I can't even draw a good stick figure! One of my brothers did some chalk art several years ago down in South Florida. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Nadezda said...

Wonderful street art, Vagabonde. You're luck to see it not very far from your home. I liked many drawings but especially of Beth Shistle's: A girl with a pigeon.
I see you and Jim had very nice weekend!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Vagabonde .. what an amazing festival and ChalkFest - gosh those artists are so clever ... I must stop and look more closely next time I pass some ... probably next year now winter is drawing in.

Incredible images ... and love that you've captured so many ..

Cheers Hilary

Sally Wessely said...

How very interesting. Artists like this leave so much of themselves in these works. Then they all wash away. It must have been great fun to go to this festival.

claude said...

Bonjour Vagabonde
Quel talent ont tous ces artistes de la craie. C'est magnifique.
Pas facile sans doute à quatre pattes mais tu vois ce street-art là, je l'aime bien. Cela me rappelle ceux qui dessinaient sur les trottoirs de Paris, que tu a du connaître aussi.
Toutes ces oeuvres sont réalistes et c'est que je j'aime.
J'espère que la pluie ne les a pas trop fait disparaître, ce doit être si bon de pouvoir en profiter, mais je crains que le passage des voitures ne les arrange pas non plus.
Merci pour ce délicieux partage.

Reader Wil said...

Formidable, Vagabonde! Ces sont vraiment des oeuvres d'art. C'est dommage qu'ils disparaîtront après une ondée. Merci de cet article.
Merci aussi de votre visite et commentaire.
Bonne journée!
Wil, ABCW Team.

Hilary said...

Wow. .such beautiful work. I'm so glad you had the idea to return. The photos took on a life of their own by re-photographing the previous works in progress. Those artists are amazing.

Things and Thoughts said...

Chere amie,
je suis vraiment impressionee de tout ce que je vois! Combien de travail admirable par de artistes talentueux!Et combien tu investis a ces merveilleuses publications, c'est surprenant.
Je te souhaite une heureuse fin de semaine.

Cergie said...

Ne dit-on pas que la pluie du matin n'arrête pas le pèlerin, et si elle tombée drue sur place, le principal est qu'il a fait beau ensuite.
Thérèse m'a appris qu'il a fallu 4 ans pour peindre la Joconde et tout autant pour la chapelle Sixtine... Mais au fond j'aime bien l'art éphémère qui apporte une joie qui n'est pas si volatile puisque tant d'étoiles restent ensuite dans les yeux et la mémoire des spectateurs et des acteurs....

Dee said...

Dear Vagabonde, thanks for sharing your weekend Marietta Chalk-Drawing adventure with us. So much talent and creativity. One of the drawings I think was of a woman or possibly an angel originally drawn by Leonardo DaVinci. (Perhaps I'm wrong about this but the figure certainly looks like his work.) The chalk drawing was done in sepia and was I think my favorite. Peace.

Shammickite said...

What a wonderful idea, to invite artists to create chalk drawings on the sidewalks. The surface of the sidewalks must be really smooth to be able to show the drawings so well. I think all the pictures are marvellous. Amazing to be able to create such enormous works of art while on your knees!
I loved all your pictures. I wish we could have a chalk drawing weekend here.

Arti said...

Amazing collections of chalk art, Vagabonde. I'm always fascinated by how talented people are, like these street artists. What's the difference between some of these works and those hung on gallery walls? Thanks for sharing!

Vicki Lane said...

So much talent! Some people feel that ephemeral art is the purest kind.

Anonymous said...


Une petite visite amicale chez toi chère Vagabonde !!!

J'aime beaucoup le street art ! Tes photos sont belles ! MERCI.

Je t'envoie de GROS BISOUS d'Asie
Bon dimanche !!!!!! ✿✿º°

Stewart M said...

Great street art. Knowing me, I would have taken lots of pictures after it rained!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Jenn Jilks said...

WOW! Such gifts and talents! WoW!

Magic Love Crow said...

My friend, I first have to apologize for not coming around sooner! I have been very busy and not blogging. Thank you so much for mentioning me! That was very kind of you!
This post is amazing! Very talented artists! WOW!
It must take you hours to put together your blog posts! They are always such a joy!
Big Hugs ;o) xoxoxo

Perpetua said...

I'm having a big blog catch-up after our house move, Vagabonde. What an enjoyable experience the ChalkFest must have been. Such talent and enthusiasm, but part of me is sad to think these creations were so shirt-lived.

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