Sarasota Chalk Festival
Who needs canvas when you’ve got a whole city block where you can unleash your artistic skills? At Sarasota’s Chalk Festival you can watch professional chalk artists from the local area and around the world at work, as they create everything from astonishing 3D images to historic Italian paintings.
This year’s festival theme is ‘Pavement art through the ages’ following street painting from its surprisingly early roots as ‘terra battuta’ – or beaten earth - to the first festival in its honour in Mantua, Italy back in 1973 as well as the latest contemporary innovations.
Based on South Pineapple Avenue in Burns Square, you can take a 30 minute walking tour of the artwork to discover more about the artists and the background to their work. Or if you want to brush up your own skills, stop by one of the lectures on the styles and history of street painting as well as watching demonstrations of some of the different techniques.
The Sarasota Opera will be performing throughout the weekend on an outdoor stage, including a full opera plus magic tricks, poetry, music, dance and comedy during the festival.
But most jaw-dropping of all are the 3D pavement masterpieces which will have your eyes playing tricks on you. Started in the 1980s by American artist Kurt Wenner, who took techniques traditionally used to make ceilings look higher to create optical illusions on the street, they’re so real you’ll almost expect to fall into cracks on the pavement or walk down the painted-on steps.
This year’s festival returns on November 1-7, 2011