A unique outdoor festival, “Chalk the Walk,” is being planned for that Saturday on the Cleveland/Bradley County Greenway, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The location will be next to the former First Tennessee Bank location on Raider Drive. Food vendors will be on site, so families are encouraged to come and spend the day.
Artists of all ages are invited to participate. The event is intended to attract amateurs, as well as budding professionals. Artists can begin their creations any time after registering, but all work will stop at 2 p.m. to allow judging to take place. Although the categories have not been solidified, there will be “Judges Choice,” as well as a “People’s Choice,” “Best in Show,” awards and age-specific recognitions.
Registration begins at 10 a.m. for those who wish to participate in “chalking” their talents on a section of the Greenway between Raider Drive and the playground. The public canvasses for “Chalk the Walk” will be 5-by-5-foot spaces and the cost will be only $10 per space. Packets of multi-colored chalk will be provided, but participants are welcome to bring their own as well. Several school art departments are expected to participate.
Proceeds from “Chalk the Walk” will establish a master plan for displaying permanent and temporary works of art in the public sector as well as grants and scholarships to attract local artists for exhibits that will be enjoyed by the community at-large. The big yellow chair on Raider Drive, titled “Sitting Tall,” is an example of what is to come on the Greenway in the way of public art.
The event is being planned and coordinated by the Greenway Public Arts Committee, a group founded to pursue art events and placement on the Greenway. I can’t say enough about the dedication of this group. Although the Greenway is getting credit for this event, it is really the work of this subcommittee which has pursued sponsors and vendors, and members will be working diligently in the weeks to come to pull it off. The group is chaired by Tara Brown.
Joe McCullough, a member of GPAC and visionary for the event, said participation is open to any individual or group wishing to contribute, regardless of age or skill level.
“No prior chalk art experience is required; however, every participant is encouraged to do their best and plan their space ahead of time,” he said.
Joe is owner of Theme Fusion and has functional art pieces in churches and businesses in Cleveland.
Brown said, “‘Chalk the Walk’ grew from a desire to establish opportunities for cultural and artistic expression by local artists that amplify outdoor experiences throughout our community. The Greenway is a perfect public space for creative display because it is a feature of our community that is available to everyone regardless of ethnic, economic or social status.”
Space is still available for vendors and event sponsors. For more information, please contact Joe McCullough through the email address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
While there have been dozens of events staged on the Greenway since its founding more than a decade ago, this will be the first “official” event sponsored by the Greenway.
We hope it grows to be a tradition that will be anticipated every year.