Posted in Around Town, Let's Get Visual

Pasadena Chalk Festival 2009

I generally dread summer heat. This year I didn’t bother. Why dread it when it is inevitable? Why waste a good, cool spring dreading the white sky and hot temps of Southern California?


2009 Best in Festival, 1st Place – Mucha by Arlou Somo

More photos after the jump.  If you’ve never been, the Pasadena Chalk Festival is a lovely event. Taking decent photographs of the artwork is nearly impossible, because even if you get up high enough you’re still at an angle. You’d have to be suspended over the sidewalk to get a really good shot. But never mind, lots of us took lots of photos anyway. Even the UK’s Telegraph!

Chalk Fest 09 artist

I like going toward the end of the event, when the art has been completed and the artists are sitting around, covered in chalk. Some of them have that zombie look, like they’ve just pulled an all-nighter and they can’t quite believe they made it through.

CF Frog

Since taking a decent photograph of a whole work was not possible, I focused on details (text above added by me).

CF 2nd Place

2009 Best in Festival, 2nd Place – Green Dame by Eric Sisley

Pasadena’s very own PIO was on hand. During the awards ceremony, she said lovely things about public art, about how the Chalk Festival is impermanent public art—much like a live performance, or improv, or the GuerilLA folks who do site-specific improv.

What is the relationship between art and permanence? I think of the Mona Lisa, hanging there in the Louvre. She’s the epitome of western art world permanence, no? But we can’t be with her all the time. Whether we’ve seen her in person or not, she lives in our minds, hearts, memories.

CF Beatles

2009 Paseo Colorado’s People’s Choice – Let It Be by Shuji Nishimura

Music is another art form we carry around in our heads. I like having an internal jukebox, even if the record gets stuck on one song (or part thereof) during a bout of insomnia.

I’m glad I went to the Chalk Festival—happy to have those images to carry with me.

CF VW0001


This is a personal blog. Expect a potpourri of stuff.

6 thoughts on “Pasadena Chalk Festival 2009

  1. Love that second photo. This is a nice essay.

    I’m one of those people who always has a song stuck in my head. I don’t have a choice of what it is, and sometimes a short musical phrase will irritate me by repeating itself for weeks. It’s like a form of internal tinnitus. I think it’s neurological.

  2. These are amazing- I never knew this event even existed until today. I love your blog– keep it up!! 🙂

  3. I so wanted to go this year and ending up getting ill. I’ve been checking out some of the videos on YouTube of the event – some really gorgeous entries this year

  4. This is a lovely piece, Kelly. I missed the chalk festival this year for the first time in a long time. Sometime, I want to participate. I think that would be an incredible experience.

    Have a wonderful 4th.

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