Artists with a knack for using chalk as a medium could find themselves the winners of this year's Street Painting Festival, put on by ArtHaus.
This is the eighteenth year the organization has held the event, since it first started in 1999. ArtHaus is looking for sidewalk chalk artists to participate in the festival, held at the Port Orange City Center during Family Days. The street festival begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30 and ends with an awards ceremony on Sunday, Oct. 1 at 2:30 p.m.
ArtHaus is inviting experienced sidewalk chalk artists to compete in the event to not only take their chance at winning but also helping raise funds for the youth art programs at the organization. Artists will be provided with a set of 48 pastels in addition to a t-shirt, food and beverages. There will be 10 cash awards in 10 categories.
Artists will be paired up with sponsors and will choose their own design, which must be approved by ArtHaus beforehand. Artwork must be 4 feet by 4 feet or larger.
"How often to you get to watch artists work on their creations and in such a large format," Laurie Gomon Ring, ArtHaus executive director, wrote in an email. "It also offers artists a way to showcase their artistic expressions and maybe win a cash award."
According to Gomon Ring, this is the largest sidewalk chalk competition in East Central Florida. She explained that there are other large-scale events in South Florida, Central Gulf Coast and the Orlando area but not in the Volusia area.
The city allows the artwork to remain on the plaza for several months afterwards and pressure washes the plaza the week before the event. Gomon Ring wrote that this has become helpful to ArtHaus and that artists "love that their artwork last a while."
However, though pastels are a fairly forgiving medium, according to Gomon Ring, the concrete surface is difficult to work on. She added that in addition to finishing the works of art on time, the weather has also been a challenge at times. Gomon Ring wrote that artists will sometimes have to return on Sunday morning to recreate areas that have ben washed away or smudged from night condensations or even vandalism, though this has been rare.
"How often to you get to watch artists work on their creations and in such a large format?" Laurie Gomon Ring, ArtHaus executive director
"The artists must create an original image that is eye-catching, thought-provoking and be willing to work while folks are watching," Gomon Ring wrote. "Just being able to enlarge their image and work fast enough to complete in the timeline is a challenge."
According to Gomon Ring, artists have already been responding, the first being a husband and wife team who have chalked every year. Gomon Ring wrote that the event does need sponsors and that by becoming a sponsor, businesses and individuals interested in taking this role can become involved in the community, show support of the arts and help ArtHaus continue the youth programs, as this is also a fundraiser.
As for the artists, Gomon Ring said there are several reasons why they keep coming back to create this temporary art.
"The artists love the scenic beauty of the City Center plaza venue, the friendships and camaraderie that develops, the amenities that ArtHaus provides, the possibility of an award and the knowledge they are helping to raise funds for the youth art programs at ArtHaus.
Artists start at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30, then work all day until 4 p.m. or 5 p.m. before starting again Sunday morning at 9 a.m. The artists finish by noon or 1 p.m. for judging. An awards ceremony is at 2:30 p.m. at the ArtHaus tent.
Call ArtHaus for more information 386-767-0076, email [email protected] or go to the website at arthaus.org. Artists must register by September 15.