Denver Chalk Art Festival 2023
In 2023, the Denver Chalk Art Festival will once again give area schools and youth groups the chance to compete for cash prizes that will go totheir respective school or Youth Group's visual arts departments. This is truly a unique way to show school spirit, team build, and fund school arts programs.
The Denver Chalk Art Festival is an award-winning chalk festival that transforms the expanse of asphalt in the Golden Triangle Creative Districtinto a bright and colorful street museum. Over the course of two days, over 150 professional, amateur, and student artists captivate audiencesas they take to the pavement armed with vivid pastel chalks, pending hours on their hands & knees recreating major masterpieces. Over 100,000festival attendees enjoy food and entertainment as they watch beautiful chalk pieces come to life.
The event follows street painting traditions that originated in 16th century Renaissance Italy when artists began transforming asphalt intocanvas using chalk. The artists were called “madonnari,” after their customary practice of recreating chalk paintings of the Madonna. Historically, madonnari were known for their life of travel and freedom, making their living from coins received from passers-by. With WorldWar II came many hardships, greatly reducing the number of these artists. The art form was not officially brought back to life until 1972 whenthe small town of Grazie di Curtatone in Italy started the first International Street Painting Competition. Today, artists worldwide are taking tothe streets, bringing with them new ideas, techniques, and excitement for this ancient form of expression. Handmade French pastels havereplaced the simple chalks previously used and the paintings have become complicated images of traditional master-style works, modernpieces, and surreal chalk creations.
The Youth Challenge will have 15 spots available for teams from schools and youth groups to create their own works of art in the time-honored tradition of Italian street painting - with chalk as the medium and the pavement at the canvas.
Groups of up to eight students will be formed into teams, each representing their own school / group, and given chalk pastels to create theirwork of art. If there are more than eight students from one school, a second team will be formed. Along with the chalk, the festival will also supply each team with pieces of carpeting to lay on the pavement, water throughout the weekend, complimentary breakfast and lunch on both Saturday and Sunday, and festival t-shirts.
Students or schools choose their own project. Students may re-create an existing masterpiece by a famous artist, re-create an original image,create a new piece that has never been seen before, or portray an image representative of their school, neighborhood, city, class, etc. It is recommended that each group work from a smaller scale of the image and map out the image on the pavement prior to beginning the coloring process. The Denver Chalk Art Festival can provide street painting tips and procedures to each school, and our professional madonnari will host a workshop on the Friday evening prior to the event.
Prizes are paid out directly to schools or youth groups for their art programs and cannot be paid out directly to any individual.
Questions about Youth Challenge can be directed to Michael Rieger, Art Director.
General inquiries about the Festival can be directed to [email protected].
Contact can be teacher, principal or group leader.
This must be an adult employed by the school / youth group.