A family-friendly weekend to enjoy street chalk art inspired by Italian Renaissance tradition
Mark your calendars so that you can mark up the sidewalks around the Cleveland Museum of Art. Saturday, September 21 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. will be the 24th annual Chalk Festival hosted by the Cleveland Museum of Art.
The event is free and open to the public who wish to view the huge array of incredible street paintings created by professional chalk artists, local community groups as well as families and individuals. In fact, anyone wishing to express themselves in chalk is invited to participate. The Chalk Festival will take place on the museum’s south-side plaza as well as throughout the pathways which wind through the Fine Arts Garden all the way down to the Wade Lagoon. Anyone wishing to participate can “rent” large or small squares. Boxes of chalk will be available to participants 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 that 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com 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.
About the Cleveland Museum of Art
The Cleveland Museum of Art is renowned for the quality and breadth of its collection, which includes almost 45,000 objects and spans 6,000 years of achievement in the arts. Currently undergoing an ambitious, multi-phase renovation and expansion project across its campus, the museum is a significant international forum for exhibitions, scholarship, performing arts and art education. One of the top comprehensive art museums in the nation and free of charge to all, the Cleveland Museum of Art is located in the dynamic University Circle neighborhood.
The Cleveland Museum of Art is supported by a broad range of individuals, foundations and businesses in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. The museum is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. Additional support comes from the Ohio Arts Council, which helps fund the museum with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. For more information about the museum, its holdings, programs and events, call 888-CMA-0033 or visit www.ClevelandArt.org.