Dark skies don’t dampen street painting festival’s spirit

IVINS – Despite dark skies and threats of rain, street artists from around the world are out and settled down onto the pavement to wow crowds this Saturday and Sunday with their colorful chalk murals at the Kayenta Street Painting Festival held at the Kayenta Art Village, 875 Coyote Gulch Court in Ivins.

L-R, Judith Kapuscinski, chair of the Kayenta Arts Foundation, artist Valentina Sforzini, Aimee Bonham, founder of the Kayenta Street Painting Festival, artist Adry del Rocio, pose for a photo at a reception honoring Bonham, Ivins Utah, April 25, 2014 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News
L-R, Judith Kapuscinski, chair of the Kayenta Arts Foundation, artist Valentina Sforzini, Aimee Bonham, founder of the Kayenta Street Painting Festival, artist Adry del Rocio, pose for a photo at a reception honoring Bonham, Ivins Utah, April 25, 2014 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

Now in its fourth year, the annual festival – a program of the Kayenta Arts Foundation, a Utah nonprofit corporation – brings together student and professional artists from all over to showcase their talents and participate in competition all in hopes of fulfilling the foundation’s mission: “Creating an environment that fosters diverse artistic endeavors for educational 
and enrichment purposes.”

It is a mission which foundation chair, Judith Kapuscinski takes to heart and one she believes the street festival encapsulates.

“One of the Kayenta Arts Foundation’s goals is to enhance arts education in the broader Southern Utah area,” Kapuscinski said, “as part of the street festival in particular we provide seminars in the schools so that the students participating on the teams have an understanding of the history and technique of chalk art.”

The street painting festival was the vision of Southern Utah artist and former arts foundation board member, Aimee Bonham. A painter by trade, Bonham became interested in chalk art because her husband’s sister, Julie Kirk-Purcell, “is an internationally acclaimed street painter,” Bonham said.

From its inception to its fourth year, Bonham said it has been exciting to watch the festival grow and is really happy with the involvement from the student teams who come to learn and compete.

“I think our festival has some of the highest participation for the student teams,” Bonham said, “it makes kids really happy to be able to share visual art in more of a performance setting.”

Where most art mediums are created in solitude and then shared with the public, street art is done in a public, performance setting; and that is what Bonham said makes it so unique and fun.

Students from Tuachan High School for the Arts create their entry for the student competition at the Kayenta Street Painting Festival, Ivins, Utah, April 26, 2014 | St. George News
Students from Tuachan High School for the Arts create their entry for the student competition at the Kayenta Street Painting Festival, Ivins, Utah, April 26, 2014 | St. George News

“People get to come and actually see the process,” Bonham said, “and I think that is a really fun thing about street painting.”

This year’s festival has attracted international artists from Mexico and Italy who were also featured in a documentary film entitled “GESSO: The Art of Street Painting.” The film was screened at the Kayenta Outdoor Theatre Friday evening.

Artists Valentina Sforzini of Italy and Adry del Rocio of Mexico have traveled around the world creating their chalk murals in various festivals and competitions and have come to Utah for the first time to share their talents and their passion for street painting.

“I am addicted to chalk,” del Rocio said, “I never planned it, but it is a lifestyle.”

“I come from the town in Italy where the oldest street painting festival began,” Sforzini said, “It is really popular where I come from.”

Spectators can see these artists create their colorful works of art Saturday until 7 p.m. and  on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Children are invited to participate as well by purchasing their own square of asphalt and set of chalks for $5.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Event details

  • Where: Kayenta Art Village at Coyote Gulch, 875 Coyote Gulch Court, Ivins, Utah
  • When: The Kayenta Street Painting Festival will take place Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Cost: Admission for the festival is free: Some activities and food vendors may charge.

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

 

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