Tuesday, August 14, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 23

Santa Maria Sun / Art

The following article was posted on September 27th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 30 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 18, Issue 30

Chalk it up: OCAF Chalk Festival raises money for local arts programs for children


For at least one day of the year, people are encouraged to graffiti their streets.

But that’s only if they’re attending the Chalk Festival. On Sept. 30, the Orcutt Children’s Arts Foundation (OCAF) will host its sixth annual Chalk Festival on the streets of Old Town Orcutt. The event features children and adults of all experience levels creating chalk drawings on the street in the spirit of 16th century Italian street painting. The event also features music, food, drinks, and live entertainment.

Children can let their inner artists shine at the sixth annual Chalk Festival in Old Town Orcutt. The festival takes place on Sept. 30 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The event is unique because it features a fusion of professional artists with amateurs, drawing their work on the walkway at South Broadway as well as portions of Union Avenue. Local artist Ruben Espinoza will join the festivities for the first time, as a featured artist and muralist. Espinoza said he wants to incorporate the theme of the festival, “Movement,” into a mural titled Our History Under the Stars.

“I’ll be painting a mural live that day on a 4-by-8 wood panel that will be auctioned off at a later time,” Espinoza said. “My intent is to tell a story of different couples from different times, places, and cultures dancing under the stars. I want to show different styles of dance from people of very different backgrounds and histories. I hope that it shows that although cultures and in this case dances can be very different from one another, the styles have similar characteristics.”

One of the featured artists at the event is Ever Galvez, a classically trained painter, sculptor, and animator who is well known for his chalk street painting. Aside from art, the event also features entertainment such as singer Julie Garnye. This is the second year the singer and actress, who has performed on Broadway in productions such as Hair and Chess, will participate in the festival.

“Everyone was so happy there, it was just a joyful experience,” Garnye said of last year’s festival.

This year, Garnye said she plans to perform more Disney songs, which were popular among the young attendees at the festival last year. Songs include “Let It Go,” “Colors of the Wind,” “Part of Your World,” and others.

Organizers of the Chalk Festival in Old Town Orcutt expect more than 75 artists to participate. Chalk artists will be featured along parts of South Broadway and Union Drive.

“I’ll be singing some Broadway songs as well,” Garnye said. “I’ll be throwing in a few pop songs for the adults or parents who may not be into the musical theater or Disney stuff.”

Garnye said that she wanted to return and perform as a way to help support OCAF and arts programs all over the U.S., which are being cut in schools and other institutions. She said programs that feature the arts are important to help mold children at an early age.

“Anything I can do on any possible level to help, I will do it,” Garnye said. “That’s why I am coming to Orcutt.”

According to an email from OCAF Executive Director Ali Bailey, festival organizers are anticipating approximately 75 street artists locally, regionally, and from Palo Alto and Orange County. Sponsorships (which includes an opportunity to sponsor an artist work at the festival) are already sold out. Proceeds from the event help support art, music, and drama in the Orcutt Unified School District, which has more than 5,500 students.

Sidewalk art
The sixth annual Chalk Festival takes place Sept. 30 in Old Town Orcutt from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. along South Broadway and Union Street. The festival is free for admission, with passes to participate in art available starting at $10. More info: orcuttarts.com/chalk-festival.html or 938-8966.

While the festival itself is free to attend, event organizers are offering a children’s ticket, called a “PasspART,” which provides them with a box of chalk, a square at the event to draw in, and admission to the children’s hands-on section. The passes for children are $10 or $25 for a family of three.

Espinoza, who recently completed a mural at the Old Orcutt Barber Shop, said the project is another opportunity for him to do more art for the public. But what also appealed to him was the prospect of auctioning off his work to to a bidder who might decide to do something unique with it.

“They could donate it to Orcutt and install it in a public space for everyone to enjoy,” Espinoza said.

Arts and Lifestyle Writer Rebecca Rose believes in letting it go. Contact her at rrose@santamariasun.com.

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