No need to BYOC…

One of many families who took part in "Chalk It Up!" last April

Public art meets performance art. That’s how the fine folks presenting Prescott’s 4th annual “Chalk It Up!” event describe the melding of concrete with pastel chalks within a festival setting — something you can experience first hand April 21 & 22 in Prescott’s Summit Plaza. Those of you who’ve long suspected you’d never excel in either visual or performance art now have a fun opportunity to try your hand at both. The results might surprise you.

“Chalk It Up!” presenters note that this unique art form has been around since the 16th century, though most individual works survive for only a few days. Seems their annual event is “family-friendly, community-centered, artistic endeavor to cultivate and support the creativity in people of all ages and cultures.” But beware of putting chalk into the hands of little ones still mouthing everything that comes their way.

We once had a home where the spacious tree-shaded patio was covered in square tiles perfect for chalk art, and our children (now in college) used to love drawing all sorts of designs both alone and with friends. Looking back, I suppose I should have spent more time doing the same.

It’s hard to go wrong with a piece of chalk. It’s plenty affordable and easy to erase, and the “Chalk It Up!” website offers tips — both practical and artistic — for folks who attend. The event is free, and everyone gets a 12-piece box of pastels plus a 4 x 4 ft. space for working their magic. No need to BYOC, though water-based chalks (not oil-based pastels) are welcome. The uber-ambitious can preregister if they’d like a bigger bit of canvas.

Those of you concerned that your chalk art isn’t yet ready for prime time are free to practice at home. In matters such as these, the fun of making mistakes sometimes tops the thrill of achieving perfection. Or so I’m told. Folks fond of people-watching can hit the event to see how chalk turns the common man into artistic muse. Though you do run the risk of contagion.

BYOC -- Bring your own creativity to the 2012 "Chalk It Up!" event in Prescott

Lest the Prescott landscape get awash in a sea of stick figures, “Chalk It Up!” has secured a few featured artists who elevate chalk art to fine art. Watch for the work of Chris Brake and daughter Kimberly while you’re there. Also Cyndi Kostylo and Holly Lynn Schineller.

In the meantime, send me some photos of your family’s chalk art creations — whether crafted on concrete or construction paper. I’d love to feature them in a future post.

– Lynn

Note: Click here to learn more about Prescott lodging and events — plus library, theater, art gallery, music and other offerings.

Coming up: A playwright gets personal

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