Art comes in many forms and this weekend you’ll have a chance to see them all. Chalk, music, sculpture, jewelry, paint, crafts, and even kid-created arts are among the many forms celebrated at the 24th annual Chalk It Up Art & Music Festival playing for 3 days this Labor Day weekend.
It’s Chalk It Up‘s biggest event every year. And every year it helps fund the nonprofit’s mission to support local youth art programs with $500 micro-grants given to provide supplies, field trips, classes, speaker fees, and so on to K-12 schools or programs in need.
And what exactly is both the nonprofit and festival’s most celebrated art form? Chalk, of course.
“It’s stimulating. It’s awe inspiring,” Jerry Perry, Executive Director of Chalk It Up, said of experiencing the 200 chalk art paintings that line the sidewalks of Fremont Park every year. “There’s just something really remarkable about coming out to this event and seeing what these people can do with their hands and chalk.”
Describing the chalk artists as “heroes”, Perry says it takes them up to 3 days to render their art on 6×6 ft. or larger slabs of cement. Ranging from strange to fun to lifelike to whimsical, the always colorful and always creative chalk paintings are sponsored by local companies, making raising funds possible for this free event.
And as if checking out the stellar art isn’t incentive enough to go, the festival has music, food trucks, a wine and beer garden, vendors, and interactive booths on hand throughout each of the days. To keep the energy in the park going, musical acts will change every 30-40 minutes as an amazing 30+ line up of musicians—both familiar favorites and fresh newbies—perform their unique thing.
“There’s so much diversity among the acts that are playing,” said Perry. “A lot of people don’t even know who some of these acts are, so if they stick around just to see what the next act is, they’re connecting with these artists who they’ve never heard of before—just as they are when they walk around the sidewalks…[or] the booths and see what these artists have created.”
A wide variety of activities for attendees both young and old include classes by Painted Cork, a Mobile Sound Lab, sugar skull art with Rob-O, made-there metal sculptures by Gina Rossi, tons of professionally led hands-on activities for kids, and “Community Square” slabs of cement awaiting guests to create chalk art of their own.
Perry was also excited to point out the inspiration the festival provides for kids whose minds, he says, are blown when they see the caliber of artwork created. The realization that it’s something people make with their hands leads to the realization that it’s something they can make with their own hands, too.
But this temporary art gallery won’t last forever, Perry says. “It’s there for 3 days, but once we’re not there adamantly guarding those sidewalks, the shuffling feet of Tuesday morning after Labor Day come along…and it’s all faded. [The chalk art] is kind of like this moment, it’s an eclipse, it’s one of those remarkable temporary things that people get to see.”
Don’t miss the chance to see it all for yourself before it’s gone. Take in the festival’s many art forms (and support local youth art programs!) this Saturday, Aug. 30-Monday, Sep. 1 from 10am to 6pm at Fremont Park in Sacramento. Admission is free. For more information about the festival and Chalk It Up’s mission, visit www.chalkitup.org.
Photos courtesy of Chalk It Up