CLEVELAND (August 28, 2013) — The Cleveland Museum of Art will host the 24th annual Chalk Festival on Saturday, September 21 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, September 22, from noon to 5:00 p.m. The Chalk Festival is a free event featuring street paintings created with colorful soft pastels and live music. Professional chalk artists and local community groups as well as families and individual participants will showcase their street paintings on the museum’s south-side plaza and throughout the pathways, which wind through the Fine Arts Garden and down to Wade Lagoon. For those wishing to participate, large and small squares and boxes of chalk are available with paid registration.
“Each year it is difficult to say which is more exciting, the anticipation of what our many and varied Madonnari will create or the thrill at the conclusion of the festival as one walks around the Fine Arts Garden to see the results,” said Robin VanLear, artistic director of community arts.
This year’s featured chalk artists include Anna Arnold; Story Rhinehart Cadiz; Bruno Casiano; Tim Haas; Mark Jenks; Jan Stickney-Kleber and Robin VanLear with Robin Heinrich. The artists will create artworks along with school groups from Lake Center Christian School, Northeast Ohio College Preparatory School and University of Akron interior design students.
The Chalk Festival is generously supported by Medical Mutual.
Chalk Festival by the Numbers
Approximate number of visitors in 2012: 19,000
Number of people participating in chalking in 2012: 3,000
Number of squares chalked in 2012: 1,082
Saturday, September 21: Blues DeVille
Sunday, September 22: Moco Bovo – plus CMA hosts the Cleveland Lindy Exchange! (starts at noon)
Visitors wishing to chalk may register upon arrival. Groups are encouraged to pre-register by Wednesday, September 18 by calling Nan Eisenberg at 216-707-2483 or e-mailing commartsinfo [at] clevelandart.org. Participating fee is $16 for a large square and a 24-color box of chalk and $8 for a small square and a 12-color box of chalk.
Parking is available in the museum’s attached garage and on the street and garages around University Circle.
Prior to the festival, preparatory workshops on chalk artistry will be held on Sunday, September 15, from 2:00 to 4:30 p.m. and Wednesday, September 18, from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.
Choose one session and make pastels using old-world recipes and new materials, as well as learn professional techniques for masking, stenciling, shading and enlarging pictures. The workshop cost is $25 for individuals and $75 for families of three or more; the fee includes materials and reserves chalk and a square for the festival. Children under 15 must register and attend with an adult. Call Nan Eisenberg at 216-707-2483 or e-mail commartsinfo [at] clevelandart.org to register or request additional information.
About Chalk Festival
The museum’s Chalk Festival brings an Italian Renaissance tradition to Cleveland. In 16th-century Italy, beggars would use chips of charcoal and chalk to draw on the market plazas outside of village churches. They often replicated the church paintings of the Madonna by Raphael and his contemporaries and became known as I Madonnari, or painters of the Madonna. Today, this artistic tradition is celebrated annually in Europe, Africa and the United States. The Cleveland Museum of Art’s Chalk Festival is the second oldest in the country.