Today, the world of painting on the pavement with chalk has grown into something that can almost pull any adult into an exciting fourth dimension. The optical illusions these artists pull off are truly mind-boggling.
Throughout the world, various festivals have become increasingly popular, where you can treat your eyes and your imagination to an intriguing feast. Here are some of the best events featuring examples of this fascinating art form. Check them out!
Chalk Walk is open to the public and turns downtown Knoxville, Tennessee into a sea of artwork underfoot. Both novice and professional artists display their skills in Market Square, and over 25,000 people attend this one-day event. Winning artists receive ribbons and cash prizes.
Little Italy, Baltimore
Since sidewalk chalk art originated in Italy in the 16th century, this four-day festival in the Little Italy section of Baltimore celebrates the I madonnari, artists who traveled from village to village taking their art to the people to earn their livelihood. Their primary subject matter was of a religious nature, hence their religious name. In addition to the fantastic street art, the festival also features Italian food, wine, music, theater, and dance.
Cambridge International Street Art Festival
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
This two-day event takes place on Main Street in Cambridge. In addition to sidewalk chalk art, paintings on buildings are featured in the showcase. Along with professional-level artists, students and families also participate. Food from local vendors also adds to the atmosphere of fun. The annual affair usually draws crowds of 10,000-12,000 visitors.
Lake Worth Street Painting Festival
Lake Worth, Florida
Since 1995, thousands of art lovers have flocked to this popular two-day event which features more than 600 artists on the pavement, music on the main stage, restaurants, shops, festival food court, and bistro. This festival claims to be the largest of its kind in the world.
International Street Art Festival
This two-day festival takes place in the City Center of Wilhelmshaven. Three different streets highlight different selections:
On Marktstrasse, many international artists display their talents at the feet of viewers.
On Bahnhofstrasse, kids and teenagers can participate in creating their own sidewalk masterpiece. Children ages 4-11 receive a certificate for their artistic efforts. The teenagers' art is entered into a contest where they can receive special prizes.
Valoisplatz features the highlight of the festival, including over-sized 3-D paintings.
Sponsored by Urban Canvas and offering free participation to street artists, this is one of three venues offering the prestigious Alice Colman Screever Awards. Also known as "screeving," sidewalk chalk art is honored as a worthy profession displaying great talent. These awards celebrate the works of a well-known sidewalk chalk artist in the 19th century.
Most have heard of Oktoberfest, a German festival time for enjoying great beer. Chalktoberfest combines sidewalk chalk art with this German tradition. Sponsored by the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art, this event features 120 different kinds of craft beer while visitors walk the colorful streets of Marietta Square. Artists of all ages are featured and festival visitors are treated to live music as they enjoy the artwork.
Best pavement artists from around the world create before the visitor's eyes a "Museum in Motion" at this renowned festival. Starting in 2010 and every year since the Chalk Festival boasts the most 3D sidewalk chalk art paintings ever created in one location.
While exploring such powerful artwork from every perspective in festivals such as these, it is easy to become involved in it. It is like a kind of performance art, rather than just two-dimensional, flat art. In a way, works like these begin to swallow the viewer in a surreal experience unlike any other.