PASADENA – The 18th annual Pasadena Chalk Festival over the weekend was not only the biggest in Pasadena history, but it was also declared the world’s largest street-painting festival, officials said.
The two-day celebration attracted more than 100,000 visitors to the Paseo Colorado shopping center, 280 E. Colorado Blvd., organizers said.
World’s largest street painting festival picture
It was hosted by the Paseo Colorado and nonprofit art advocacy group the Light Bringer Project.
About 600 artists of all ages and skills created more than 180 murals in and around the grounds of the Paseo Colorado.
Officials from the Guinness Book of World Records determined the event to be the largest street-painting festival on record, Light Bringer Project President
Tom Coston said.
“We think of it as a museum without walls,” he said.
“This is the largest crowd in the history of the event,” Coston said. “Really, it has a life of its own. I can’t see it ever going away.”
The artwork covered a space equivalent to about two city blocks.
Visitors not only get to see the finished works, but also are invited to watch the artists create their pieces during the event.
“(Visitors) start getting engaged with the artists,” Coston said.
Many artists have formed friendships, partnerships and even marriages through the Pasadena Chalk Festival, he added, and there’s a strong spirit of cooperation among the artists. Thirty percent have been participating in the festival for seven years or more.
Murals included portraits, fanciful and abstract creations, cartoons and everything in between. Some were made just for fun, while others carried political or social statements.
Fifteen students in grades six through eight from the Foshay Learning Center’s “Room
13″ art program in Los Angeles created two murals for the event titled “The Color of Art Defeats Darkness” and “The Heart of Love.”
Sisters Rosemary Donis, 14, and Jennifer Donis, 13, worked on Room 13’s murals for the second year.
“It’s very inspirational seeing all the other artists,” Rosemary said.
“The fun thing about this is getting your hands dirty,” she added. “It makes you feel like a real artist.”
Jennifer enjoyed participating because, “You can do whatever you want – be creative.”
Artist Ron Lewis, 39, of Los Angeles, also known as “Rezin,” created a summer fun-themed work titled, “The Water Fight,” in which a pair of mischievous-looking boys are depicted playing with water guns and balloons in front of a tire swing hanging from a tree.
“This is my first chalk art,” said Lewis, who has worked mainly as a graffiti artist.
“I thought about something that would be fun,” he said of the inspiration behind the piece. “That’s basically what I wanted to capture: kids having fun in the summer.”
Jim and Stacy Rispin of Pasadena brought their children Ian, 8, and Emma, 3, to the event “just to see all the amazing things people can do with chalk,” Stacy said.
The family also attended Pasadena’s annual music festival Saturday.
“I love living here, where all this stuff is in our backyard,” Stacy said.
In addition to the Paseo Colorado and Light Bringer Project, a host of other sponsors helped make the event possible, Coston said. For example, Blick Art Materials in Pasadena provided three boxes of chalk to each artist.
Though the festival’s murals easily surpassed the 151 required for the world record, Coston said, it will take several weeks for the proper documentation to be filed and the record to become official.