Chalk Festival

Venice Airport
610 Airport Ave E
Venice, FL 34285
Chalk Festival
Chalk Festival

The 2022 Chalk Festival 'Resilience' will be held April 1-3 at the Venice Airport on the island of Venice, Florida. Mark your calendars to join us! —— Hailed as the most important pavement art event in the world, for three days the airport runway will turn into a "Museum in Motion," states Denise Kowal, Founder/Director. The festival affords an opportunity to become an integral part of the fine art creative process. From start to finish, you can witness the largest gathering of renowned pavement artists perform using the road surface as a canvas to develop oversized masterpieces in chalk. This performance art form, as we know it today, is thought to have originated in Italy during the 16th century. These Italian artists were called Madonnari for religious imagery. They went into remission after the Second World War. It wasn’t until the 1970’s that the remaining small number of Madonnari got the recognition they deserved with the start of the International Madonnari Festival in Grazie di Curtatone in Northern Italy. In the USA, Robert Guillemin, known as “Sidewalk Sam,” became inspired by the Italians and took to the pavement in Massachusetts during the 1970’s. He remained passionate about the art form until his death last year. In the 1980’s, an American artist named Kurt Wenner, while trying to make a living studying classical drawing in Italy, became the first American madonnari. He went on to invent the 3D pavement art which was documented by the National Geographic Society in 1985. He started the first festival in the USA, and along with the festival in Italy, was instrumental in transforming the art into a worldwide phenomenon. Starting in 2007 and every year since, the Chalk Festival features the most 3D pavement paintings ever created in one location. Also in 2010, it became the first international pavement art festival in the USA. The artists who create these 3D pavement paintings invite visitors during the festival to step directly onto their artwork--becoming a part of illusion in photos. These artists come up with intricate ideas that make images and the ground appear to dip inward or rise above when viewed from a particular vantage point. In addition to the pavement artists who travel from all over the world, the festival organization invites anyone, of any skill level, to sign up as an artist and work alongside the professionals, creating their own pavement paintings. No other cultural organization mixes the most renown with beginners better than this festival, giving novice pavement and student artists a truly unique opportunity.

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