MOWA's Inaugural Art and Chalk Fest Welcomes 10,000 Attendees 

Featured 50+ Fine Arts and Crafts Artist Booths and 13 Chalk Artists

August 2, 2017
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WEST BEND, Wis. (August 2, 2017): The Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA) kicked-off its celebration of the purchase of a new south-facing green space – Cultural Campus – with a festival for art lovers and enthusiasts. The first annual Art and Chalk Fest will took place over the weekend of July 29 and 30, 2017. It featured a juried selection of 50 fine arts and crafts artist booths, 13 chalk artists, art activities for all ages, food vendors, live music and entertainment, and a beer garden – all for free. The museum was also open and free to the public for the duration of the event.

“Art and Chalk Fest exceeded our expectations in every way. It provided an opportunity for direct interaction with artists to learn about their work and to purchase high caliber works in a range of media. The chalk art was sensational and entertained thousands throughout the weekend.” said Laurie Winters, MOWA Executive Director | CEO. “The community has been incredibly supportive and enthusiastic about this event and our organization. From generous sponsorships to help from the City and even borrowing tents from the West Bend Downtown Association, we really feel that our community came together to make this possible! And, we’re already looking ahead to next summer’s Art and Chalk Fest.

In the winter of 2017, 83 artists from throughout the region entered their work for consideration by jurors Fred Stonehouse and Faythe Levine. More than 50 artists were chosen to participate in the inaugural festival based on the quality of their work and the medium. During the festival, each artist was judged by artist Fred Stonehouse and curator Erika Petterson. The winners include: 

- Best of Show: Shelley Smith, Fine Arts
- Second Place: Megan Woodard Johnson, Mixed Media
- Third Place: Chris Robleski, Photography
- Honorarble Mention: Joan Kennedy, Fiber

Professional chalk artists from throughout the United States participated in the festival, many creating pieces up to twenty feet in scale. Tonya Youngberg, of Utah masterfully chalked a picture of a tiger and won the People’s Choice Award.

Two local students also participated alongside the 11 professional chalk artists, Kaylee Goodman of Slinger, and Kinsley Kohls of West Bend. Goodman, age 13, chalked a large-scale self-portrait of a girl listening to music in the moonlight. Kohls created a piece inspired by her dog that came to life in its three-dimensional appearance. Both students wowed the crowds with their work. Goodman went on to win the Online Viewer’s Choice Award. Participating professional chalk artists included Stacey Williams-Ng, Kitty Dyble Thompson, Kimberly Wood, Alex Silvia, Shawn McCann, Craig and Jamie Rogers, John Soukup, Kumpa Tawornprom, Janet P. Tombrose, and Tonya Youngberg. Each artist chalked live for the duration of the festival – some even started on Friday. Patrons had the opportunity to meet the artists and vote for their favorite.

Art and Chalk Fest offered attractions and activities for all ages and interests. A designated outdoor area featured kid’s art activities where MOWA staff and volunteers painted the faces of more than 500 kids. A friendly team from the West Bend Meijer provided a tent for make-your-own fruit sushi and also passed out free kid’s sunglasses, hand sanitizer, and sunscreen. A performance by the West Bend Dance Tumbling Troupe engaged the crowds on Saturday with their award-winning performance followed by live statues by Pantaloon Productions

The Museum was open and free to patrons to experience the permanent collection galleries and rotating exhibitions. The “A State of Fashion” summer exhibition features four sartorial-themed shows spanning more than 100 years of fashion. The MOWA Shop was also open for festival goers to shop Wisconsin art. The shop is always open to the public during regular museum hours.

Art and Chalk Fest was sponsored by Sommer’s Automotive, Serigraph, Dale and Linda Kent, George and Judi Prescott, UW–Washington County, Educators Credit Union, Johnson Family Fund, Slesar Glass, Hampton Inn & Suites (West Bend), Milwaukee Radio Alliance (B93.3 FM), Conley Media, M Magazine, Lakefront Brewery, Arnold’s Environmental Services, Inc., and Pantaloon Productions.

MOWA is planning for next year’s festival to be held on July 21 and 22, 2018. More information and event photos of the inaugural Art and Chalk Fest are available online at www.wisconsinart.org/artfest or on Facebook at https://goo.gl/3Kj5Ys.

To schedule an interview with the primary event contacts at the Museum of Wisconsin Art, please contact MOWA Director of Communications and Marketing Jessica Wildes at jwildes@wisconsinart.org or 262.247.2266

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Jessica Wildes, Director of Communications and Marketing
jwildes@wisconsinart.org, 262.247.2266