A unique, vibrant art festival will come to midtown this summer.
Midtown Crossing is holding Omaha’s first-ever Chalk Art Festival, an engaging live-art addition to the city’s arts and culture landscape. Visitors will be able to observe and admire as local artists and Madonnaris (professional chalk artists) transform sections of pavement along Farnam Street into pastel chalk masterpieces.
Michael Rieger, a fifteen year veteran Madonnari, will be helping with Omaha's first chalk festival. “Chalk art isn’t only about the finished product. It’s really a performance-based art form. You’ll see how the artists build the images and how those images come to life. It’s kind of mesmerizing.” Rieger has led chalk art festivals in Denver and Reno.
New to Midtown Crossing and Omaha on this scale, the chalk art festival concept is tremendously popular around the world, from Mexico to Italy and many places in between.
Molly Skold with Midtown Crossing says they are looking forward to hosting one of these popular festivals right in the heart of Omaha. “The works these artists come up with – the most incredible illusions in some cases – really invite you to just stop, stare and wonder. We couldn’t be more excited to add the Chalk Art Festival to our summer calendar, welcome the crowds to an activated Farnam Street, and celebrate the vibrant arts community we have here in Omaha."
Skold says they are currently looking for artists to participate in the festival. "What we want is an opportunity for artists, anybody 19 years or older, who love the idea of creating and has an image in mind and would love to perform, perform in front of people walking by."
Skold says they don't anticipate turning down anyone who applies to draw during the festival, they just need to provide a rough sketch of what they'd like to do. Artists will also be provided with the chalk needed and a 6x6 square to bring their idea to life. the chalk used is a soft pastel, not kids’ chalk that most of us think of. If there is a huge down pour, much of the design will need to be re-done. However, light or medium rain storm does not destroy or affect the design. Designs usually last a week to a month.
In addition to seeing the chalk art emerge before their eyes, visitors will be able to enjoy live music, food, drinks and shopping. The festival will be held July 28th and 29th on Farnam Street in Midtown Crossing.
Interested artists can apply to participate here. Applications will be accepted through June 25th.