Thursday, September 10, 2009

20th Annual Chalk Festival this weekend at the Cleveland Museum of Art

I just checked the local 5-day forecast and am delighted to report that our resident meteorologists are predicting a beautiful weekend here in Cleveland. This is particularly great news since the Cleveland Museum of Art will be hosting its 20th Annual Chalk Festival on Saturday and Sunday, and I am heading down to the Circle with my family for all of the fun.

The Museum's chalk festival draws on a centuries-old European tradition first practiced outside of Cathedrals in Italy, where poor beggars would decorate the sidewalks with chalk and charcoal drawings of famous paintings. This weekend, you are invited to come down to the Museum and try your hand at reproducing the Old Masters, or to produce your own original masterpiece. Sidewalk squares are $8, or $16, depending on the size and come with all of the chalk needed to begin your piece de resistance.

Don't want to get your hands dirty? That's fine, you can admire the chalk drawings created by renowned artists, groove to live music, and stroll the beautiful gardens around the Wade Lagoon all for free. That's right, there is no admission fee, and the weather looks sunny, so plan to come down and join the festivities. The event runs from 11:00 to 5:00 on Saturday the 12th, and from 12:00 to 5:00 on Sunday the 13th.

I am planning to be there with my husband and our two little girls on Sunday to color a square. We plan to create an original abstract work, incorporating the prominent toddler and preschool influences that affect our creative vision during this predominantly pink period we find ourselves in right now. But, knowing how things go with small fry, it may end up as one of those unfinished classics that the artists, once distracted, never return to finish. Photos to follow next week.

For more information on the music performances, the history of the Chalk Festival, or to reserve a sidewalk square, check out the Museum of Art's Newsroom blog, or visit the Museum's website.

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