Within a few hours, what was once an expanse of gray concrete was awash in color. The pavement of Heritage Plaza in Covina, California, had been turned into a sidewalk art opening. On display, the work of chalk artists who had just spent hours on their hands and knees creating beautiful, but temporary, masterpieces.
The best part was that it was all for a good cause. Sponsored by the City of Covina and AutismHwy.com, the 5th Annual Chalk Festival brought together artists, vendors, and musicians for a day of creativity and community involvement. All proceeds benefited autistic children and adults.
With three artist classifications — professional, amateur, and autistic — there were all sorts of wonderful creations to see! From superheroes to storybook figures, from unicorns to dragons, from abstract puzzles to realistic faces: The sky was the imaginative and figurative limit.
Even though it would be my first foray into sidewalk chalk art, I knew ConceptuaLine had as much to offer as to learn, and so decided to participate. Happily, I chose my subject matter wisely! I chose the cover of a favorite children’s book,“Who Is The Beast?” written and illustrated by Keith Baker. (Also in print as "¿Quien es la Bestia?") The colorful rainbow palette of flora and fauna, coupled with the fact that the original illustration was drawn with pastels, made the re-creation process fun and enjoyable.
However, I encountered several challenges along the way. Oh, the heat! But the staff were wonderful and supplied giant umbrellas for all the artists, moving them throughout the day to provide optimal shade depending upon the sun's ever-changing position. And I have to admit, I ended up with a numb left hand, most likely from leaning on it for too long. (Would you believe eight hours??!!) Well, at least I can say I suffered for my art!
My favorite parts of the day? Having friends and family show up, listening to live music by "Who's Clayton," and walking around to see all the finalized, colorful pieces of art. Later, we strolled through downtown Covina with all its restaurants to enjoy. We settled on The Brew & Meatball Co. where a glass of chilled chardonnay was quite refreshing after a long day of drawing.
Here’s to Chalk Festival 2015!
Donna is a principal at ConceptuaLine, and enjoys being a contributing writer to the ConceptuaLine blog.