Last Saturday artists from local Colorado gathered in Downtown Denver for the 14th Annual Denver Chalk Art Festival. There were 123 total chalk works and five of them belonged to Feature Artists. Feature Artists were artists that were not competing for a prize. Artists received a 12’ by 12’ square underneath a tent to create their pieces. Stephen DeOrio has been a feature artist for the last seven years, but has done a work of art at the festival for thirteen years. He says that while he was competing he was awarded ‘People’s Choice’ almost every year. Usually an oil painter, he enjoys working with chalk. His piece this year was entitled ‘Braids’, and was originally a tempera, a type of painting medium, by Andrew Wyeth.
Chalk art seemed to be only one medium that these remarkable artists dabbled in. Some even only pulled out their chalk for this weekend every year. A company or foundation sponsored every chalk piece. Courtney Lynn Chandler was working on an elephant with a lot of character. ‘Color Splash’ was of a mischievous and unnamed, much to many children’s disappointment, elephant. A friend of hers, a teacher, asked her to create a design for a get-well card for one of her students. The chalk art that she was working on had evolved from that original design. Courtney had much enthusiasm about her piece, deciding to time lapse it with her GoPro.
The Denver Chalk Art Festival has also become a family affair. Whether it is families coming to enjoy the artwork and live music, or artists bringing their families to help them create their masterpieces. As you walked down the rows of art you could see kids assisting their artists with a number of various tasks. Leela, 8, was handing out stickers for the Fiske Planetarium and Science Center located at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her father worked at the Fiske and had taken a photo that was being turned into chalk art. Leela’s mother, Rebekah Walker, was the artist. Many other families were hard at work. Felix was helping his grandmother, Heather Paris, color. Overall the chalk festival was a success. The two days were filled with hard work, talent, and an infectious spirit.