Let your creative energy flow at Chalk Art Festival

July 23, 2013

By Erin Hoffman

Issaquah is about to get a bit more colorful, thanks to the annual Chalk Art Festival.

This year, the festival, sponsored by the Issaquah Arts Commission, will hit the sidewalks around the Issaquah Community Center on July 30. From noon to 5 p.m., anyone can show up and create some art.

By Greg Farrar Audry Sammons (right) and her dad Bill show off their chalk-colored hands after working together on a work of sidewalk beauty during the 2012 Chalk Art Festival.

By Greg Farrar
Audry Sammons (right) and her dad Bill show off their chalk-colored hands after working together on a work of sidewalk beauty during the 2012 Chalk Art Festival.

According to Amy Dukes, the arts coordinator for the commission, most of the participants are elementary school age, although kids and adults of all skill levels come out to draw. Many are there just to doodle, while some come with a fully formed idea in mind, complete with sketches and outlines.

“I think everyone likes it because it can be whatever you want it to be,” Dukes said.

The Chalk Art Festival is a summer tradition among Issaquah residents. At the end of the day, there is judging, where outstanding participants from each age group are awarded. Judging begins at 5 p.m., and winners are announced at 6 p.m. However, Dukes said that winning is not the primary focus of the festival.

“Our mission is to promote arts and culture in our community,” she said. “We like to do free events for the community that are really accessible to everyone.”

Dukes said that chalk art is the perfect medium, because it’s easy, doesn’t require much artistic ability and most importantly, it’s fun.

In addition to providing chalk, the Arts Commission will also provide water and snacks for everyone at no charge.

In conjunction with the Chalk Art Festival is artEAST’s “The Art of Silliness: Imaginary Creature Drawing” event, taught by Carla Sonheim at the Issaquah Train Depot, just a few streets away from the festival. At the event, which is also free, participants will use pre-existing sidewalk cracks, peeling paint and other found objects as inspiration for their own imaginary creatures.

Dukes said that the Arts Commission pushed back the date of the Chalk Art Festival intentionally so that it would coincide with artEAST’s event, giving families a full day of artistic expression.

The festival will precede that night’s Concert on the Green event at the Issaquah Community Center, featuring Steve Kelley’s Little Big Band at 7 p.m.

 

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