Visitors Invited to Create ‘Avenue of Art’ at Summer Arts Festival


chalkCAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., June 2, 2014 – An “Avenue of Art” made with soft pastel chalk will be created June 21 at Southeast Missouri State University’s first ever full-day Community Summer Arts Festival on the patio on the east side of Southeast’s River Campus overlooking the Mississippi River.

Artists of all ages will be given a box of 24 soft pastel pieces of chalk and asked to create artwork within a concrete space of six feet by six feet. Images must be contained within the square. The event begins at 10 a.m., and artwork will be judged by local artist and professional street painter Craig Thomas.

“Literally, it’s bringing art to the streets,” Thomas said, saying these types of events offer positive visual feedback.

Thomas says he has been leading street painting events for a number of years, having conducted them in Europe, Canada and Crystal Bridges museum in Bentonville, Ark. He also has led street painting events locally in connection with Musicfest, Riverfest and ArtsCape in Cape Girardeau.

The free competition will be judged in three age categories: children ages 6 to 12, students ages 13 to 17, and adults 18 and older. Children under six will be encouraged to participate, but their creations will not be judged as part of the competition.

“We are thrilled to incorporate the Avenue of Art into this year’s River Campus Summer Arts Festival.  It is wonderful to have Craig’s expertise,” said Rhonda Weller-Stilson, director of the Earl and Margie Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts and associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts. “Thanks to the additional support of the Crisp Museum, Craig will produce a piece of art at the festival.  Patrons will be able to check his process throughout the day.  This will definitely be a highlight of the festival.”Those wishing to participate are asked to bring a hat; sunscreen; an image or rendering; yardstick, tape measure and chalk line; latex gloves; extra soft pastel chalk; pillow, carpet-square or kneeling pad; kneepads; water and lunch. Chartwells Dining Services will provide food and drinks for purchase as well.

No pre-registration is necessary. For more information, contact the Earl and Margie Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts at (573) 651-2210.