PASADENA, Calif. — The 23rd Annual Pasadena Chalk Festival brought together more than 600 artists on the Paseo Colorado walkway. It was named the world’s largest chalk art festival in 2010, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
Moe Notsu won the Best of Festival Award with Shuji Nishimura taking home second place and Arlou Somo rounding out the top three chalk art designs.
“I am working on a mural of Wassily Kandinsky, a Russian artist and abstract expressionist,” said Cynthia Lake, a chalk artist from Pasadena. “I have ripped off his art many times and figured I owed him some homage by putting him in his own painting. Kandinsky was a rebel of his time. He refused to do portraits of figures and decided that color was everything. I am a potter and I love the clay. I come from a pottery background.”
The Best 3D Effect Award went to Julio Jimenez while Amanda Casas was honored with the Best Use of Color Award.
“I really like one that’s up by the Yard House that’s kind of a Monet painting like the lily ponds,” said Jean Gaskill, an attendee from Los Angeles. “I thought that was lovely. It’s great to see so many people out and about on Father’s Day. I would live best in show to John Lennon. I loved the shading on the face. It was really cool.”
Other award winners include Edwin Aguilar for Most Humourous, Peggy and Tiffany Jordan for Most Inspirational, Shaina Joel for Best Technique and Jennifer Swain for Animation Alley.
“This is my fourth year doing the Pasadena Chalk Festival,” said Annabella Bardenheier, a chalk artist from Pasadena. “This drawing is of a dance poster that I designed for my high school. Basically, the dance instructor envisioned a poster that had to do with water, movement and flow. We have some swirls and some waves and she also wanted water so that was another element. The most fun part has been working with my friends. If I was to do it myself, it would be awful. Having fun with my friends has been the best.”
Most of the chalk art designs were based on famous paintings, animated characters and television/film stars.
“In the beginning, I saw a really cool Steamboat Willie,” said Timothy Thompson from Lakewood. His mother, Deanne, added: “The Spider-Man is my favorite chalk painting. We were here a few years ago and saw it was Father’s Day so it was the perfect time to come out.”
Live entertainment was provided by locals bands on the main stage throughout the weekend. Relish, Susie and the Troublemakers, Midnight Ride and Frater were among the bands who entertained audiences.
“I’ve been a Star Wars fan for a long time,” said chalk artist Connie Flores from Whitter, who made a Star Wars-themed comic strip out of chalk. “We’ve watched all of the movies. I’m passing on the information to my daughter. She’s starting to watch the movies. There are yellows, blues, tans, oranges, reds, white to make it more pop out.”
My favorite chalk design was the tribute for Robin Williams, Paul Walker and Lauren Bacall inside a classic car. All three of them sadly passed away in 2014.
“So far, my favorite chalk design is the John Lennon, No. 337,” said attendee John Mammoser from Los Angeles. “The shading was incredible. We caught it from the beginning and thought, ‘This looks nice.’ Then, we came back an hour later and said, ‘This looks really nice.’ Then, we came back an hour later and said, ‘This is incredible!’ We saw from the beginning and it looks incredible right now. No. 2 there was a Calypso-feel to this one right here.”
The Chalk Festival began in 1993 when Light Bringer Project intern Nancy Siegmund saw chalk painting in Paris. She returned to the U.S. and the festival debuted that same year at Pasadena City Hall with about 100 chalk artists.
For more information about the Pasadena Chalk Festival, visit http://www.pasadenachalkfestival.com.