Chalk it up to art

The second annual Victoria International Chalk Art Festival brings art to the streets

Chalk Art - California’s Susanne Ma is just one of many international artists coming to the Victoria International Chalk Art Festival, Sept. 14-15 around downtown Victoria.

Chalk Art - California’s Susanne Ma is just one of many international artists coming to the Victoria International Chalk Art Festival, Sept. 14-15 around downtown Victoria.

After only two years on the street, the Victoria Chalk Art Festival is already the largest festival of its kind in Canada.

The festival is growing by leaps and bounds this year, with almost 30 local artists and 16 international artists participating.

This year, the festival has a theme, focusing on celebrating the art and culture of B.C.’s First Nations.

Even the international artists have taken on the challenge.

This year’s feature artist is Leon Keer of the Netherlands. He begins working on a 20-by- 20-foot 3D chalk painting on the lower level of The Bay Centre Wednesday morning.

“He’s doing a salute to B.C. First Nations as well,” says Chalk Fest executive director John Vickers.

“In the design you will see a Monopoly game as the border of the painting. The streets are replaced by B.C. locations which carry First Nation names. From out of the middle you will not only see some beautiful trees arise from the depths, but also the Industry that is present. It is a kind of metaphor for the struggle and sacrifice which the First Nations have to make to be able to move forward and live in harmony with everybody who is present nowadays in their habitat,” Keer writes by email.

Keer will work on his painting in Zone 3 (Bay Centre) from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. His anamorphic art will be finished by the end of the weekend and will remain on display until Sept. 30.

Government Street (Zone 2) will be closed from Fort to Yates streets from 4 a.m. Saturday to 9 p.m. Sunday. More than 30 local artists, some of whom are trying chalk art for the first time, will each get 8-by-10-foot “canvases” to work on right on the street. Artists will be finished painting by 6 p.m., leaving three hours for people to come down and view the finished products before the street reopens to vehicles.

Centennial Square (Zone 1) will be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday with international artists live painting in the square, accompanied by entertainment from First Nations dancers, singers and drummers, and other local musicians, beginning each day at noon. Centennial Square is also home to the kids zone where children have access to thousands of pieces of chalk to design their own street art masterpieces, food vendors and an artisans’ marketplace.

As a special treat, Kurt Wenner, an internationally acclaimed chalk artist who founded anamorphic or 3D chalk art will be on hand Saturday in Zone 2 at Munro’s Books (1180 Government) from 2-3 p.m., where he’ll be signing copies of his book Asphalt Renaissance — a sure sign that Victoria is now on the international chalk art map.

Vista, California’s Lori Escalara, who is a featured artist at this year’s festival is also hosting a tutorial Thursday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Delta Ocean Pointe. Any local artists who want to try their hands at creating chalk art during the festival can register for the workshop at victoriachalkfestival.com.

For complete event listings, pick up a copy of the Victoria International Chalk Art Festival program at the information kiosk at The Bay Centre and check out victoriachalkfestival.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Royal B.C. Museum has added a tamba dining set, used by a Punjabi man on his voyage to Canada in 1927, to its ‘100 Objects of Interest’ online collection. (Courtesy of Royal B.C. Museum)
Punjabi dining set added to Royal B.C. Museum’s ‘100 Objects of Interest’ collection

Set used by Indar Singh Gill on his voyage from Punjab to Canada in 1927

Victoria-born musician Bryce Dane Soderberg took to Instagram Monday to call out the Greater Victoria School District on its proposed cuts to elementary and middle school music programs. (Bryce Dane Soderberg/Instagram)
Victoria-born Lifehouse vocalist calls out SD61 on proposed music cuts

‘It will be a big loss to future generations’ Bryce Dane Soderberg posted to his Instagram

Ballet Victoria is honouring Rosemarie Liscum, the president of the board of directors who was instrumental in the building the dance company. Liscum died earlier this month. (Photo courtesy of Ballet Victoria)
Rosemarie Liscum remembered as dedicated, instrumental builder of Victoria Ballet

The president of the ballet company’s board of directors died at the age of 59

The CVAC Fine Arts Show is always something to see and 2021 promises to be no different, as they adopt a fully multimedia approach. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley Fine Arts Show goes multimedia for 2021

The show, which runs from May 1-22 will be available both in person and online.

Dinner After a Death, a painting by Sooke artist Bryan Cathcart is part of a collection featuring his work at the Outsiders and Others Gallery in Vancouver. (Contributed - Bryan Cathcart)
Sooke artist finds creativity by expanding artistic horizons

Bryan Cathcart, 26, featured at Vancouver gallery

Viking-inspired fantasy writer Joshua Gillingham of Nanaimo and Seattle-based Islamic science fiction editor Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad are co-editing ‘Althingi – The Crescent and the Northern Star.’ (Photos submitted, illustration by Lada Shustova/Figue)
Nanaimo author co-editing historical anthology connecting Vikings and Muslims

Joshua Gilligham presents ‘Althingi – The Crescent and the Northern Star’

Saltair-based writer, Krista May. (Janet Kelly photo)
Island writers make long-list for 2021 CBC Short Story Prize

Krista May and Angie Ellis among 33 finalists selected out of over 3,000 entrants

A writer studying in England drew from her roots growing up in Sooke for a story that’s been short-listed for a prestigious international prize.
Former Sooke resident up for prestigious writing award

Cara Marks earns nomination for the 2021 Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Three Legged Dog Productions performed Jesus Christ Superstar in 2019. Tim Penney photo
Non-profit plans musical renaissance in the Comox Valley

Three Legged Dog Productions is preparing for a summer residency at Filberg Park

Tori Djakovic and Ava Hornby with their painting Winter Crystal Victorian Lace, a part of the Nanaimo Art Gallery’s Glass Box Story project. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)
Youths and seniors collaborate on Nanaimo Art Gallery public art project

‘Glass Box Story’ painted panels and text to be installed across street from gallery

View Gallery curator Chai Duncan admires the work of graduating visual art student Hailin Zhang, one of the artists in the upcoming End Marks grad show. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
VIU visual art grad show presented as virtual gallery tour due to COVID-19

‘End Marks’ exhibition is on display from April 29 to May 30

Most Read