When someone says 'chalk art,' images of crude animals and shapes from one's preschool days might come to mind. However, chalk has become an extremely popular medium of artistic expression. So long as it doesn't wash away.
Chalk art festivals have recently exploded all over the nation, promoting arts and community involvement, and the Deco District Neighborhood Association is starting the tradition smack dab in the middle of beautiful, Downtown Tulsa.
"We decided to have a festival to help brand the Deco District," said Libby Auld, president of the Downtown Deco District Association and owner of Elote Cafe and Catering.
This is the second year for the Chalkfest art festival hosted by the Deco District of Tulsa and Kanbar Properties and will take place during Mayfest.
"We didn't want to take away from Mayfest, but add value to it," She said.
The art fest will feature local amateur chalk artists as well as professional chalk aficionados. One featured guest is Yatika Fields, son of Oklahoma ceramic and clay artist, Anita Fields, who will be traveling from New York to design a 10x20 foot chalk mural especially for the event.
The festival will also include performances by the Lindy Hop Dancers from Vintage Swing Movement, a 1920s dance ensemble for entertainment.
To participate, chalk art 'Chagalls' must have their art work reviewed and approved prior to the day of the festival and are only given a 10x10 foot piece of asphalt as canvas for their designs. Artists will have to be creative with their space restrictions but they'll be compensated and given $25 the day of the event to cover art supplies cost -- and may purchase more supplies, if needed, with their own funds.
This year, Chalkfest will be broken down into three different age groups that draw in different time slots throughout the day. High school aged students will kick off the day from 11am-3pm, adults will get chalky between 1-5pm, and professionals will show everyone how it's done from 2-6pm.
Prizes consist of ribbons and hundreds of Mayfest and Deco District guest appreciating and admiring all of the hard work. Judging is conducted throughout the day and recognition is awarded to winning participants at 7pm.
On top of the chalk art competition there will be plenty of kids activities centered on chalk and more.
"We still have a couple spots left," Auld said. Chalkfest will be held May 19th on Boston Avenue from 4th to 6th Streets during Mayfest from 11am-7pm. For more information, or to sign up to participate as an artist, visit decodistricttulsa.com.
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