Sarasota Chalk Festival by Pamela Beck

I stopped by to look at the Interactive 3D pavement art. Over a dozen well known international artists were creating their circus inspired compositions right before the eyes of an awed crowd.

Pamela Beck

Pamela Beck

There are as many ways to think about art as there are to create it. Join Pamela Beck in her column, ARTdart, as she explores and considers the different perspectives that define the art world.


For many of us, childhood memories of drawing with chalk on the sidewalk are not very interesting and often the source of conflict. We used chalk to make arbitrary but enforceable boundaries (Your ball went over the line, so now you’re out!); to play tic tac toe (No, you can’t go first until you finally win one, you crybaby.); and to draw pictures on someone’s driveway until the unimpressed owner invariably came out and yelled “Hey you, Picasso. Go find somewhere else to paint your masterpiece.”

If only there had been something like the Sarasota Chalk Festival in our town. Then we might have earned some respect as we honed our artistic skills for possible future festival participation! (Maybe even hothead neighbor would have piped down.)

And respect and admiration is just what’s in the air when you walk around “Circus City, USA,” this year’s Chalk Festival, a bow to Sarasota’s circus history. For ten days, this free festival spans 300-600 South Pineapple Avenue in Burns Square and currently runs through November 6th.

I stopped by to look at the Interactive 3D pavement art. Over a dozen well-known international artists were creating their circus inspired compositions right before the eyes of an awed crowd. Standing aloft on a two-story scaffold nearby these artists, was Kurt Wenner himself, the celebrated innovator of this art form. He was directing his own crew of artists from Japan, Germany, Italy and Mexico as they created a complicated, original and beautiful work of visual illusion, premiering a new Wenner technique designed for the festival. This elaborate, massive, intricate piece is a must see for both its extraordinary imagery and eye teasing technique.

Between November 1-6, visitors will be able to step into these artworks and among many options, they can strike a pose with lions, kiss an elephant or perch on a clown’s palm. In this unlikely street setting, experiencing art so directly, surrounded by giggles and cries of disbelief, I can’t imagine that even a killjoy could resist attempting an imaginary balancing act along the high wire painted on the street.

Kurt Wenner’s assistants working on his chalk painting for the 2012 Sarasota Chalk Festival. Photo by Pamela Beck

The 2D pavement artists will chalk between November 2nd-4th. Their finished artwork can be viewed November 5th and 6th. And don’t forget to look up as well– painters, spray can and airbrush artists are going vertical, creating artworks on pre-approved private walls around the city. Over five hundred artists are participating in all of these events.

At different times throughout the festival, there are performances of music, dance, acrobats, and street performers, along with special events. The information for all of these can be found on the festival website under “Events.”

To expand on what you learn from your direct chats with the artists on the streets, Clothesline Gallery and Boutique, at 529 South Pineapple, is presenting “Creative Conversations Chalk Festival Series.” In a six-session format, festival artists discuss their work and inspiration with a moderator and the audience. So far, there’s been one interview with Leon Keer from Holland. I like how he described his work: “I never explain my paintings but can say that I am interested in everyday things. I look through old magazines for ideas. I try to paint people’s forgotten stories and encourage others to remember their own stories and retain their memories.”

“Forgotten stories”- one small, beautiful fragment of information like that, helps me see different things in Keer’s work. Henry Darnell is the next artist in this series. He’s up today, November 1st at 7PM.

This festival starts off with a strong sense of anticipation built-in to it. Watching the art being made, you think that its completion will be the cherry on the cake. But along the way, the personal interaction among the audience, artists and the art itself combined with the closing down of the streets for the art, festival guests and visitors, makes the entire Chalk Festival experience an immensely satisfying end unto itself. (Probably like years ago, when the circus village rolled into town.)

At one point, a Swedish family with two girls about ten and twelve years old, stood next to me on the street. We watched the artists chalk on the pavement below us. Soon the mother and I began to talk.

“We wanted to take a vacation with our girls. We knew about Sarasota’s beaches and cultural activities, but when we heard about the Chalk Festival, we thought the girls would love it; so we booked our trip for this week.”

“How have they liked it?” I asked.

“They love the paintings and can’t believe they’re done so well and in chalk. But what my husband and I didn’t expect is the spirit on these streets. Even though everyone is working on their own thing, and many from different countries, it feels like everyone’s connected. It’s very moving.”

For events, hours, address, directions, info and all schedules:
www.chalkfestival.org


To read more about Pamela, view these links:
http://srxq.blogspot.com/
http://whatdogsreallythink.blogspot.com/

The Labyrinth of the Unbroken Path

The purpose of the Labyrinth of the Unbroken Path is to offer an experiential portrait of our collective traditions, cultures, and myths in order to celebrate our differences, our similarities, and the opportunities that lie therein. The initial installation included series and individual pieces inspired by the teachings of Joseph Campbell, Stephen Covey, Buddhism, Christianity, and more. Future installations are inviting artists to bring interpretations of their own life lessons and hero´s journey to the forefront of their art in order to inspire greater community interdependence and personal growth.

Last year, for the ArtSlam Festival in downtown Bradenton, the Labyrinth of the Unbroken Path made it´s debut. The installation was comprised of 48 individual pieces developed by local artists Steve McAllister, Amy Kern, Chris McKenzie, Melina Economos, and Miranda Massey. Since then, the mobile gallery has been installed at Celebrate Wellness Fest, Sarasota Naturally, Step Up to Homelessness Ten Year Plan Launch, the Economics of Happiness Summit, First Presbyterian Church, and Earthdance 2012. It has morphed slightly from festival to festival, offering a contemplative and inspiring respite from the crowds, music, noise, and fast pace of the festivals, as well as life in general.

Photo by Jessie Smith

The purpose of the Labyrinth of the Unbroken Path is to offer an experiential portrait of our collective traditions, cultures, and myths in order to celebrate our differences, our similarities, and the opportunities that lie therein. The initial installation included series and individual pieces inspired by the teachings of Joseph Campbell, Stephen Covey, Buddhism, Christianity, and more. Future installations are inviting artists to bring interpretations of their own life lessons and hero´s journey to the forefront of their art in order to inspire greater community interdependence and personal growth.

The Labyrinth of the Unbroken Path will be installed again at the Sarasota Chalk Festival on November 3-4 and at ArtSlam 2012 on Saturday, November 10th along Bradenton´s newly designed Riverwalk. Local artists may contribute to the Labyrinth of the Unbroken Path on either or both installations. Participating artists may also be included in a tentative December installation which will include a live auction for individual pieces.

Photo provided by the artist.

To participate in the Labyrinth of the Unbroken Path installations at either the Sarasota Chalk Festival or Artslam, artists need to follow only four steps:

1. Select a basis for an interpretive series or individual piece. (A list of possibilities is listed below for you to choose from, but should only be used as guides, not limitations.)
2. Create canvases from re-purposed materials and turn them into interpretations of your selected theme in the medium(s) of your choice.
3. Bring your series to the your selected installation.
4. Retrieve your series at the end of the installation.

In addition to the tentative auction, participating artists can also receive time dollars for their participation if they are members of the Common Wealth Time Bank. The Common Wealth Time Bank is an alternative currency recently started through Transition Sarasota under the direction of Steve McAllister, architect of the Labyrinth of the Unbroken Path. Like the Labyrinth itself, the Common Wealth Time Bank is designed to build upon the strength and value of the community and its residents in order to create a greater realization of beauty, abundance, service, and trust.

Photo provided by the artist.

Presently, selections for Unbroken Path series include, but are not limited to, the 4 Noble Truths, don Miguel Ruiz´ 5 (or 4) Agreements, the 5 steps of the Romans Road, Erik Erikson´s 6 Stages of Development, the 7 steps to Maslow´s Hierarchy of Human Needs, the 7 Chakras, the 7 Days of Creation, the 8 (or 7) Habits of Highly Effective People, the 8 Beatitudes, the 8-fold Path of Righteousness, the 11 (or 9) Celestine Insights, the 11 steps of Joseph Campbell´s Hero´s Journey, the 12 Steps of Anonymous, David Hawkins´ 17 Stages of Consciousness, or the 22 cards of the Tarot´s Fool´s Journey. Participants are also welcome to develop their own series or to adopt a 4 part series based on the ABC2 Economy theory. Artists hoping to participate in the Labyrinth of the Unbroken Path should contact Steve McAllister at inkensoul@gmail.com for more information.

The Goods: Weekend News (11.04.11)

Sarasota Visual Art’s round up of exhibitions and events for the upcoming weekend. This features the weekend of Friday, November 4 through Sunday, November 6.

WEEK IN REVIEW:


4th Annual Sarasota Chalk Festival http://wp.me/p1DJvQ-2L
November 1-7, 2011

Celebrating the cultural art form of performance pavement art the Sarasota Chalk Festival is lined up to become the most important contemporary venue in the world …


Hugh Davies at Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art http://wp.me/p1DJvQ-6c
November 4, 2011 (6-8 pm)
Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art gallery is presenting an exhibit featuring 15 recent works by the renowned artist and Ringling College faculty member.


Fairy Tale Exhibition at Selby Gallery http://wp.me/p1DJvQ-79
Opening – Friday, Nov. 4
Traditional and contemporary fairy tales illustrated by prize winning contemporary artists.

Kinuko Y. Craft, The Fairy Godmother, Oil on board, 9.5”x 12.25”, 2000

Ann Roth Exhibition at Crossley Gallery http://wp.me/p1DJvQ-bs
Closing – Nov. 4
Ringling College of Art + Design is proud to host Visiting Artist Ann Roth on campus.

Sketch by Ann Roth

Chicken Scratch – Tim Jaeger Exhibit at Palmetto Art Center http://wp.me/p1DJvQ-cl
Opening – Friday, Nov. 4 (5-9PM)
PAC invites the public to view paintings based on the artist’s personal history and desire to contribute something to the history of art.

CS 14 by Tim Jaeger

Going to an art opening this weekend? Email us your pics of art openings at info@sarasotavisualart.com

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Origin of Ego, the Artist behind the Lego Man

After a bit of digging in the sand, it suggests that the work of Ego Leonard was created by Dutch guerrilla artist, and 2011 Sarasota Chalk Festival featured artist, Leon Keer.

10/26/2011 (2:00pm)

Is it a bird? No. Is it a plane? No. It’s Ego Leonard, the giant, yellow smiling Lego man that washed ashore the beautiful Siesta Beach yesterday. After a bit of digging in the sand, Sarasota Visual Art suggests that the work of Ego Leonard was created by Dutch guerrilla artist, and 2011 Sarasota Chalk Festival featured artist, Leon Keer.

Lego Man, Ego Leonard
Credit: http://www.egoleonard.nl/

Keer, born in Utrecht, The Netherlands (where Ego mysteriously appeared on the Zandvoort beach in the Netherlands in 2007 among many other locations) in 1970, is an enthusiastic 3D street painter, and 2D artist. Paintings of Keer’s work appear on the site http://www.st-artgallery.com/artists/ego-leonard.html where you can purchase a part of the Ego Leonard phenomena for a couple thousand dollars. The website www.egoleonard.com is registered under Keer’s personal email address, the contact for Keer’s other site featuring his beautifully rendered and detailed works at www.dufois.nl. In addition, Keer is “friends” with Ego Leonard on Facebook, and both are mutual friends with Sarasota Chalk Festival founder, chairwoman, and now master of marketing, Denise Kowal.

(sketch) Terracotta army discovered in Sarasota by Leon Keer - "The painting will not be an attampt to change the history, but rather to give something informative to the public and question the existing environment of its opportunism and society control."

Don’t miss the Sarasota Chalk Festival and Leon Keer’s work coming to downtown Sarasota, Nov. 1-7, 2011. To view Keer’s concept sketch for this year’s Chalk Festival theme “Pavement Through the Ages” visit http://www.chalkfestival.com/?p=3487

Public records for EGOLEONARD.COM showing the owner information.
Lego Man, Ego Leonard
The main website for Ego, a redirect from EGOLEONARD.COM

2011 Sarasota Chalk Festival

November 1 – 7, 2011
Celebrating the cultural art form of performance pavement art the Sarasota Chalk Festival is lined up to become the most important contemporary venue in the world as the most renowned local, national and international artists use chalk as their medium and the street pavement as their canvas to turn South Pineapple Avenue into a gallery in motion.

November 1-7, 2011
South Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL

Celebrating the cultural art form of performance pavement art the Sarasota Chalk Festival is lined up to become the most important contemporary venue in the world November 1st – 7th as the most renowned local, national and international artists use chalk as their medium and the street pavement as their canvas to turn South Pineapple Avenue into a gallery in motion. This year’s lineup includes innovator of 3D pavement art Kurt Wenner from Washington, Melanie Stimmell Van Latam from California, Michael Kirby from Maryland, Leon Keer from Netherlands, Eduardo Relero from Spain, Vera Bugatti from Italy and Tomoteru Saito from Japan.

This year’s theme is focused on education features works from the art forms thinly document past all the way into today most current contemporary movements. As part of the timeline the festival will honor the Grazie di Curtatone Madonnari with a recreation of the historic 24-hour Madonnari competition that takes place yearly in Mantua Italy during the Feast of the Assumption. Dozens of Italian artists will travel to Sarasota to perform alongside some ambitious American artists in this 24-hour competition that runs November 4th to 5th from 6pm – 6pm that will depict works of art in their tradition of Christian inspiration.

An Exhibition featuring Kurt Wenner’s amazing work will travel from the San Juan Islands Museum to the Ringling College Diana Roskamp Exhibition Hall for a two-week showing October 26th till November 8th. During the festival Wenner will create a pavement drawing with local students marking his first time performed in a festival since 1995. Wenner is a part of the Chalk Festival Lecture Series that will be held at Ringling College and at the 529 Clothesline Gallery The series includes a private evening with Kurt Wenner “Reawakening the Renaissance”, Classical Drawing, 3D and Illusion Techniques, Street Painting Techniques and an in-depth look at the History of Pavement Art. Tickets are on sale at www.ChalkFestival.com or at their Farmer’s Market booth each Saturday till the event.

Renowned Baltimore pavement artist Michael Kirby has partnered with the Sarasota Opera. Kirby will create an elaborate outdoor opera to be constructed at the festival for one-hour excerpts of the famous Madama Butterfly taking place Sunday, November 6th at 11am, 3pm and 8 pm. The set that takes a month to build will feature other performances such as poetry readings, theater and Canadian opera singer Myriam Herman.

New this season, the Chalk Festival is “Going Vertical” with renowned artists Chor Boggie and John Pugh from California, Eduardo Kobra from Brazil, MTO MTO from Germany, Erni Vales from Miami and more. Working on approve properties the artists will create vertical masterpieces including a public art partnership with the City of Sarasota and Jonathan Parks Architect to install 5 public murals in the Palm Avenue Parking Garage starting Tuesday, November 1st.

The 7-day festival will take place Tuesday, November 1st through Monday, November 7th with events in Burns Square and Ringling College. The Chalk Festival will feature dozens of partnerships with other performers in Music, Dance, Poetry, Film, and Theater who are professionals, students and even the little ones just starting their performance experience.

The Sarasota Chalk Festival is organized and managed by the Avenida de Colores 501c3 volunteer nonprofit and is a family event that is free and accessible to all. www.chalkfestival.com

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SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

NOVEMBER 1 – 7
Illussion, 3D and Persective Artists Performing
400-500 S. Pineapple Avenue in Burns Square over a dozen internationally renowned street artists will create large 3d works of art. The works, which fool your eye and tickle your mind taking several days to complete. The creative development of scale, distor- tion perspective and illusion as the works are created is a performance worth watching.

November 4 – 6
Traditional, 2D and Contemporary Artists Performing
300-600 S. Pineapple Avenue in Burns Square hundreds of artists will transform the pavement into a performance art museum in motion starting on friday morning and completing by sunday.

November 4 – 5
500 S. Pineapple Avenue in Burns Square
Madonnari Competition
over a dozen artists with the help of artists from italy will recreate the Madonnari competition to honor the Grazie that takes place in Mantova italy yearly since 1972. The Grazie is responsible for keeping the cul- tural traditions of street painting alive. artists will fol- low the rules and regulations of the Grazie using dry chalk to create works of art with christian inspiration. artists will work 24-hours straight to complete their works. a blessing of the chalk will take place at 5 pm.

Student Chalk Art Competition
November 5
Whole Foods Market Centre on 1st Street, Downtown
students will turn the sidewalks along whole foods Market centre into an art gallery for this one-day com- petition. little children are also encouraged to chalk.

Little Chalkers – Children at Heart
November 5 & 6, 9 am – 5 pm – Public Participation
Oak Street between S. Pineapple & Palm Avenues in Burns Square
an entire city block is dedicated to children and the young at heart to create their own mini-masterpieces during the event. chalk will be provided and it is free to all to participate. Please come inspire and be in- spired by everyone who wants to give chalk art a try.

Viewing Day – Completed Artwork
November 7, 8 am – 7 pm
300-600 S. Pineapple Avenue in Burns Square
come enjoy the neighborhood, have lunch, catch a movie at Burns court cinema and see the completed artwork before all the artwork is completely removed before the next day.

Kurt Wenner Museum Show
October 26- November 8
Ringling College – Diana Roskamp Exhibition Hall
showcasing the unimaginable skills of a true renais- sance man and master 3-d artist, kurt wenner. The exhibition will feature original oils and pastels, pre- liminary sketched for his pavement art, drawings of historical characters and fantasy worlds, plus memo- rabilia from decades of world travel and sidewalk painting. The show will also include the history of sidewalk art from around the world.

Opera Madama Butterfly
November 6th, Three Shows: 11am, 3pm, 8pm
Dolphin Street in Burns Square
renowned Baltimore artist, Michael kirby has created an outdoor set for the sarasota opera to perform one- hour excerpts of Madama Butterfly live at the sarasota chalk festival. The set is located at the intersection of dolphin street and Pineapple avenue. Throughout the day other performing artists will sing, act, dance and play on the stage between opera sets

Music and Other Performances
November 4 – 6 Burns Square
daily live Performances on our Main stage located on laurel street.

Cellograff Art
November 4 – 6 – Public Can Participate
Burns Square
kanos and astro are traveling from Paris france to wrap Burns square in cellophane and create walls for aerosol artists to create vertical art that will change each day of the festival. This demonstration is highly interactive and a fun way to express yourself without imposing on others personal property. Bring your own aerosol cans and participate.

Going Vertical – Painting Walls
November 1 – 7
Various Locations throughout City
dozens of approved local artists and artists from all over the usa, france, Germany and italy will transform walls that have been pre-approved by property owners into works of art.

Kurt Wenner – A Private Evening
Lecture : Reawakening the Renaissance “Asphalt Renaissance” – A Private Evening with Kurt Wenner
World-renowned artist, architect and innovator of 3D pavement art, as he takes you through his journey that started in Rome and took him around the world. His studies of the European classical tradition found art to be a language of form with ancient roots that is still a valid vehicle for artistic expression. His studies and works include drawings, sculpture, decorative arts, paintings, architecture, as well as innovative contemporary media. Wenner will present a slideshow and lecture of his experience traveling and transforming the folk art of the Italian Madonnari into a lively, contemporary and international sensation.
November 1, 2011 @ 8:00 PM
Ringling College of Art & Design
Diana Roskamp Exhibition Hall
$25 adult/$15 student ID
Book signing after lecture

Kurt Wenner – Instruction Demonstration
“Street Painting Techniques”
World renowned 3D artist Kurt Wenner will provide an overview and demonstration of the various techniques used in pavement art in the past and current mediums, styles and cultures. This will be a hands on interactive class.
November 1, 2011 @ 9:00 AM
529 Clothesline Gallery, 529 S. Pineapple Avenue
$20 adult/$10 student ID

Kurt Wenner – Instructional Demonstration
“Perspective, 3D, Illusion Techniques”
One of the great myths of our time is that humans “see like a camera”. Photography is widely believed to be a major force in the demise of academic figurative traditions in the visual arts and in the birth of modernism. Humans do not see like a camera and before the invention of photography, artists never felt responsible for replicating nature. Perspective illusions are the outward projection of human experience and imagination from the back of the eye onto surfaces in the physical world. Wenner will discuss the history of illusion and demonstrate the mathematical solutions to ancient problems in depiction. This will be a hands on interactive class.
November 3, 2011 @ 9:00 AM
529 Clothesline Gallery, 529 S. Pineapple Avenue
$20 adult/$10 student ID

Kurt Wenner – Instructional Demonstration
“Classical Drawing”
Classical drawing is often misunderstood as a style of art. Instead, it is a language of depiction that encompasses many historical and personal styles. The structure of classicism is rooted in ancient principles of sacred geometry and human perception. No other artistic language has surpassed its ability to communicate form and space to the viewer. Wenner will demonstrate that a classical drawing is fundamentally both “abstract” in structure and “pure” in design.
November 5, 2011 @ 9:00 AM
529 Clothesline Gallery, 529 S. Pineapple Avenue
$20 adult/$10 student ID

Kurt Wenner – Lecture
“Architecture and Architecture Detailing”
Classical architecture in the ancient world was based on precise mathematical principles of symmetry. Proportion is a form of symmetry that requires all of the parts of a building to maintain a precise relationship to the whole. Decorative elements of a building must therefore be designed and fabricated in order to make an architectural design into a unified work of art. This lecture will discuss both the design and production of original architectural details.
Book signing reception at JWood Realty following lecture, 330 S. Pineapple Avenue in Burns Square.
November 2, 2011 @ 5:00 PM
Ringling College of Art & Design
Academic Center Auditorium
$20 adult/$10 student ID
Book signing reception at JWood Realty following lecture, 330 S. Pineapple Avenue in Burns Square.

Kurt Wenner – Lecture
“History of Pavement Art”
Pavement art has a rich, colorful, and varied history that is often “simplified to the point of being wrong”, by writers who have little personal experience with the various traditions or the protagonists. Wenner will describe the cultural roots and methods of the italian madonnari, the German strassenmaler, and the British screevers. All of these cultural traditions have been used as a foundation for the current emergence of pavement art as a global artistic phenomenon, which still provides opportunities for artists and students. Rare photos and engravings of historical pavement artists will accompany the lecture/slideshow.
November 4, 2011 @ 4:00 PM
Ringling College of Art & Design
Academic Center Auditorium
$20 adult/$10 student ID

Jim Prigoff – Lecture
“Fourty Years of Spray Can Art”
Documenting urban murals worldwide since the 1960’s, Prigoff’s personal photography collection of spraycan art (graffiti) is one of the most extensive in the world. He will share with you his collection of not only photographs, but amazing stories on his years documenting this urban art form. He is the co-author of several books on the subject. Book signing follows the lecture.
November 4, 2011 @ 8:00 PM
Ringling College of Art & Design
Academic Center Auditorium
$20 adult/$10 student ID