Fun with Chalk

Chalk Fun (Kianna Columna)

Kianna Columna

Street painting is a creative Italian tradition dating back to the 16th century.
Since 1991, the city of Mission Viejo began its own tradition of street painting. Using only chalk, professional and armature artists are creating beautiful and temporary street galleries.

The annual festival called, FunWithChalk, includes jaw-dropping street painting, award winning events, raffles, and art workshops for children, catchy music, and exciting dance performances. FunWithChalk brochure said, “FunWithChalk is a celebration of the heart, mind, and creative spirit, replicating and enhancing this centuries-old art form.”

The events for the festival, FunWithChalk, occurred April 24 and 25 right next to New Hart Middle School in Mission Viejo. However, the chalk art exhibit was only displayed on April 25 from 10 am until 4 pm. This year marked the 12th annual production of FunWithChalk.

Grandparents, young children, boyfriends and girlfriends, parents, groups of friends, teachers and people from all walks of life were found at the chalk festival. With so much to look at and different things to do, Troy Crawford, 14, New Hart student said, “The chalk festival was so much fun. There were performances, music, and delicious food. I was stunned by how amazing the chalk art turned out. It was definitely the highlight of my Sunday.”

Jeanne Bear Sleeper, author, event planner, and board member said, “Enriching creative expression in children enhances their personal development. The regional community benefits with a family-oriented free event that marries live chalk art with musical performances and hands on children’s art workshops.”

The Creative Arts Productions Foundation produces the FunWithChalk festival. The festivals underline is to support Arts. The proceeds go to scholarships for artists, support educations education in public schools, and provide art programs. Sleeper said, “And the reach extends throughout the community as the event precedes fund art scholarships, art therapy, and pay for all types of arts equipment to enhance public school programs in music, graphics, performance, fine arts and expressive arts.” The festival precedes also go to Laura’s Horse and Gary’s Place.

Artists Marybeth McFaul and Renee Keady worked together to create a montage of four master artist’s work. They took art from Kandinsky, O’Keeffe, Vangoh and Mondly. They have both been involved the chalk festival for 12 years, since it had begun. McFaul said, “We are the spark that inspires creativity, children, and adults.” McFaul is also a former student of Saddleback College.

Entertaining, creating, educating and influencing, the FunWithChalk festival wants to positively enhance the way people of all ages perceive art.  “Who could imagine that such simple sticks of chalk for drawing images on asphalt could ignite so much goodness?” Sleeper said, “That’s the legacy of FunWithChalk.”