Pop-Up Chalk Fest – September 2017

gachalkartists Pop Up Chalk Festival

Every year the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition (ABC) organizes Atlanta Streets Alive in various neighborhoods in Atlanta. This year there were only three Streets Alive events: Westside, Southside, and Central. At every Atlanta Streets Alive the GA Chalk Artists Guild joins the ABC as an activity partner and organizes a Pop-Up Chalk Festival.

Last Sunday was ABC’s signature event along Peachtree Street, a main artery of Atlanta. The road was closed to car traffic and is opened to pedestrians and bicycles only. Vendors, musicians, artists, and organizations are placed all around the street for people to visit as they make their way along the route. Zach Herndon coordinated with Central Atlanta Progress (CAP) on behalf of the GA Chalk Artists Guild to secure a location on the parade route in front of Woodruff Park, across from the historic Flatiron Building.

Artist attendance included James Wheeler, Chelsey Austin, Katie Bush, Heather Cap, Adam Dunlap, and Brittany Williams; and this event’s coordination duties fell to Jessi Queen and Zach Herndon with volunteer help from Andrew Greene, Melinda Burnett, Doug Burnett.

James applied some forced perspective techniques on a picture of glasses which made for some cool shadows.

Chelsey chalked a seahorse that made use of excellent shadow effects. She was inspired to draw this by her recent visit to the Georgia Aquarium.

Katie drew a piece of faceted amethyst. Her setup included an optical lens set at the correct viewing height for passersby to enjoy the forced perspective piece without having to take a photo.

Heather did a portrait of Balthazar Bratt, the villain from Despicable Me 3, to celebrate her son’s 12th birthday. As always, her blending was on point and was a fun addition to the event.

Adam did a drawing of a flower. One thing to note about Adam’s drawing is that he used a technique that relies on layering chalk hatch marks one on top of the other instead of pushing and blending the chalk dust into the ground. The effect looks great in person but also photographs really well.

Brittany did a portrait of Melanie Scrofano from the show Wynona Earp. Britanny came equipped with a pounce to lay out her work before starting to preserve proportions and make the setup process go faster. She also was the only artist to employ tempera paint in her setup process which helped to condition the ground for her work.

Zach organized the event and led the public chalking area. The community chalking area was broken up into multiple zones where anyone could contribute to a growing patchwork of interlocking chalk drawings as well as fill in a giant “ATL”. Melinda, Doug, and Andrew are some of the best volunteers and always help us get off the ground fast and make our events successful.

Jessi and Melinda chalked all the sandwich board signs we had setup around our space which helped to encourage people to participate. Our newest chalker in training, baby Lachlan, hung out at the the GACAG table with Jessi and gave out information about upcoming events.

We had a surprise visit from another chalk friend in Kevin Wiley, who chalked with us in Thomaston, GA two years ago and has been a volunteer at the Pop-Up Chalk Festival in the past. Kevin chalked a quick batman for Lachlan before disappearing into the crowd.

At the end of every Pop-Up Chalk Fest at Atlanta Streets Alive we give out awards to participants for their efforts. Selections are made using volunteer judges. This year our judges were from CAP and a passerby. GACAG awarded Brittany with the Emerging Artist award. Katie and Chelsey were earned the Member Artist awards. Heather Cap was presented with the Chalker Pro Award for attending her 5th Pop-Up Chalk Festival at Atlanta Streets Alive.

It was a really beautiful day, sunny only in the early afternoon, as the sun went behind the buildings shortly after we started giving us shade while we worked. This also allowed us to take some great photos of our work since there weren’t any harsh lights or shadows on the ground!