Artists Hit The Streets

Photo Courtesy of John-Morgan's Flickr
Photo Courtesy of John-Morgan's Flickr

On sunny summer days, children are often outside creating chalk masterpieces and exploring their imaginations — but this summer, professional artists from around the country are hitting the pavement in downtown New Paltz.

Water Street Market is hosting their first Hudson Valley Chalk Art July 20 to 22 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m..

The festival will consist of 12 professional artists showing off their talents by making intricate illustrations and 3D pieces of temporary art, Theresa Fall, events coordinator for Water Street, said.

She said each professional will be assisted by a local artist to help with the workload, but they must pay their own entry fee. Fall said they are currently accepting portfolios through email that will be judged based on creativity, talent and interest.

“All skill levels and types of artists are welcome,” Fall said. “You don’t have to be a chalk artist to participate.”

Chalk art is a new medium in which the artist is able to put a significant amount of work into the product, and it disappears at its own pace. Fall said it can last as long as the environment doesn’t interfere.

Fourth-year psychology major Shane Triano said the temporary aspect of the artwork is endearing and it’s necessary to bring different art forms to the community.

“Art is necessary and we’re really lucky to live in a town where we have access to so much great visual and musical art,” Triano said. “I’m a big fan of temporary art too, so sounds pretty badass to me.”

To make room for the artwork, the upper parking lot will be closed for the three days, Fall said. Each artist will get their own area of the lot’s asphalt and places will be mapped out and marked prior to the event.

Fall said the event was created by the owner of Water Street Market who saw chalk art when he was traveling and thought it would draw a large crowd. According to, the event will be sponsored by several businesses in town such as Unison Arts Center and Krause’s Chocolate.

Christine Retta, a fourth-year secondary education major, said she thinks this is a great opportunity for New Paltz.

“I always see pictures of things of that nature online and didn’t believe it actually happened. Bringing it to New Paltz is such an interesting concept, and I think it really fits in with the culture of our town, especially Water Street Market,” Retta said. “I only wish it was going to be during the school year so the student population could enjoy it as well as the local population.”