Rock, Chalk: Street Art

Bookmark this
05 August, 2019 By Becca Martin-Brown

"Chalk is familiar and accessible; most people have drawn on the sidewalk with chalk," says Holly York, a senior museum educator at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. "This festival takes the medium to the next level and introduces guests to the artistry of chalk. It's incredible to see what these artists can do with chalk."

York says this year's inaugural Chalk Festival -- set for Aug. 10-11 -- was inspired by Chalktober Fest, sponsored by the Marietta Cobb Museum in Marietta, Ga. But chalk is trendy worldwide. A blog called BookAStreetArtist talks about it as both art and marketing in Germany, Australia and Japan.



Chalk Festival

When — 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Aug. 10; noon-6 p.m. Aug. 11

Where — Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville

Cost — Free; a $10 Ale Trail ticket is available for adults

Info — 479-657-2335,



Chalk Festival Artists

Arizona — Eli Farias, Holly Lynn Schineller

Arkansas — Amber Winters Perrodin, Hubert Neal Jr., Octavio Logo

Colorado — Corbin Hillam

Florida — Aislynn Mullen, Beth Shistle, Jennifer Nichols Chaparro, Ken Mullen

Georgia — Fawne DeRosia

Indiana — Jasmine Pilkinton, Jeff Pilkinton (father and daughter)

Missouri — Joan Finn

New York — Anthony Cappetto

Ohio — Jennifer RoJeanne, Sheryl Lazenby​​​​​​​

Tennessee — Jennifer Richardson, Tyler Key

Texas — Anat Ronen, Fernando Andrade, Liza Fishbone

Utah — Tonya Youngberg​​​​​​​

Washington, D.C. — Chelsea Ritter-Soronen​​​​​​​


"Chalk art is always designed for a specific place and audience," the blog quotes artist Hiromi Moriya. And in the case of Crystal Bridges, that audience is members of the community who might otherwise be less likely to visit the museum.

"This family-friendly festival not only features 25 artists from around the county, but also art making, music, face painting, lawn games, food trucks and an Ale Trail," York says. "A chalk festival is a way to engage visitors in a different kind of art experience and activate new outdoor spaces."

Along with local makers -- among them Amber Winters Perrodin and Octavio Logo -- the Chalk Festival welcomes an unusual artistic duo, father and daughter Ken and Aislynn Mullen from Florida.

"I like working with my dad; he's influenced how I work as an artist, so it's usually pretty easy to work together since we've been doing it for so long," Aislynn says. "These days we mostly work separately but enjoy doing similar pieces; some ideas we have coming up are doing Thor and Loki and Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage."

"That is the best part of chalking for me," Ken adds. "Chalk festivals give us a chance to spend quality time together, doing something that we both love. We occasionally work on the same piece, like a 3-D image of Arnold Schwarzenegger that Aislynn and I collaborated on this year, but more often than not we just attempt to complement each other's themes."

Neither one expected chalk to be their medium of choice.

"A chalk festival started in my hometown about 25 years ago," Ken explains. "It is an old medium, but the idea of a chalk festival was foreign to me. A friend had signed up and invited me to help. The experience hooked me, and I just kept going back for more."

"I always enjoyed doing art, but I never really latched on to any particular medium until I started working with chalk," Aislynn says. "I think the combination of the performance art aspect and the time limit just inspired me to try other festivals."

Both agree that while the medium is a familiar one, it's also more challenging than one might imagine.

"So many factors go into creating a good piece," Aislynn says. "How good the surface you're working on is, what the weather is like, how much chalk you need to put down, even your mood can affect how your piece turns out! Definitely for me I have to be in a good headspace because if I don't like how it's turning out, the final product won't be up to my standards."

"I love to do portraits, so detail is critical. That is the challenge -- detail," Ken says. "Especially when working on smaller scale image. For most festivals we do the equivalent of a 10-by-10 image, which is more forgiving, but anything smaller can be difficult to effectively capture detail. You just have to take your time and be patient and hope for the best."

Chalk is, of course, ephemeral, and sometimes that adds to the magic.

"Nothing beats chalking on the street in my opinion," Aislynn says, "and I feel there's more of a sense of appreciation for the art because of its impermanence."

"The best that you can do is cross your fingers that the weather holds long enough to get a few good photos, then post them in a portfolio or on social media and let the art live on there," Ken says.


NAN What's Up on 08/04/2019

Print Headline: Rock, Chalk: Street Art


Recent Articles

UA announces 'street fest' on Razorback gamedays

UA announces 'street fest' on Razorback gamedays

in Entertainment News, Event News

The UA athletic department announced on Monday the rollout of a series of "improved elements to the game day experience," starting with what the department is calling the "HogTown Street Festival" on Saturdays at Reynolds Razorback Stadium.

August 15, 2019 By NWA Online

All Aboard! Trains arrive at Rogers Historical Museum

All Aboard! Trains arrive at Rogers Historical Museum

in Community News, Event News

"The history of Rogers and Northwest Arkansas is inextricably tied to the railroad that cuts through it running north and south," says Terrilyn Wendling, interim director of the Rogers Historical Museum.

August 12, 2019 By Becca Martin-Brown

TheatreSquared opens its doors in downtown Fayetteville

TheatreSquared opens its doors in downtown Fayetteville

in Community News, Event News

Just like that, the confetti fell Thursday and two years of construction came to a close with the unveiling of the new TheatreSquared. About 500 people witnessed the venue's first official night out on the town.

August 9, 2019 By Stacy Ryburn

The Buttered Biscuit is Opening a Second Location

The Buttered Biscuit is Opening a Second Location

in Food & Drink News

An honest breakfast. Using high quality ingredients.

August 5, 2019

Must Read Articles

Family-Owned Acapulco Restaurant Fuels Community

Family-Owned Acapulco Restaurant Fuels Community

in Food & Drink News

Named after the sunny, beach-resort city on Mexico's Pacific coastline, Acapulco Restaurant is a refreshing reminder to enjoy the finer things in life: family, fajitas and frozen margaritas!

January 3, 2019 By James Carlton

Dog Party USA!

Dog Party USA!

in Sponsored Content, Best of NWA

“One of the most wonderful characteristics of dogs is their infinite capacity for joy,”

December 16, 2018

Still celebrating 50, Shiloh Museum open for Thanksgiving weekend

Still celebrating 50, Shiloh Museum open for Thanksgiving weekend

in Event News

Shiloh Museum is open during the Thanksgiving weekend and is still celebrating its 50th birthday -- which was Sept. 7 -- with three exhibits.

November 13, 2018 By Becca Martin-Brown