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Hudson Valley's first chalk fest makes its mark in New Paltz
This weekend, the upper lot of New Paltz’s Water Street Market will transform into a canvas where artists will create ephemeral works for the first ever Hudson Valley Chalk Art Festival.
Twelve of the best chalk artists will be flown into the area to transform asphalt and concrete into vivid images and three-dimensional works of art. Eleven local artists will also be trying their hand at the art form.
“I’ve never worked in chalk before, so we’ll see how this goes,” said Ryan Cronin, 40, a New Paltz oil-based painter, who will be at this weekend’s festival. “It’s uncomfortable, but being uncomfortable is good.”
The event is the first of its kind in the Hudson Valley. “It’s not every day you get to experience something like this since usually only larger cities do it," said Theresa Fall, the community event coordinator of the Water Street Market.
In addition to watching the artists work away at their temporary masterpieces, attendees can roam the market, visit the food vendors or check out the live entertainment. Throughout the weekend, different acts, including a reggae funk band and a Beatles cover band, will be performing on the upper lot.
The festival will also feature an area where children can give chalk art a try and a station for free face painting.
Three professional pieces with three-dimensional effects will be created during the festival. Creating pieces under the watchful eye of an audience is something that interests artists like Cronin.
"You get to reach the audience in a different way,” he said. “And, the idea that chalk art is temporary is something that interests me. It’s not this precious, delicate image that lasts forever.”
For Fall, the event is one worth visiting because it combines local and national artists.
“It’s a huge art event where local artists get to try their hand in something they’ve never done before,” she said. “It brings community spirit in.”
IF YOU GO
What: Hudson Valley Chalk Art Festival
When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Friday-Sunday, July 20-22
Info: Water Street Market, 10 Main St., New Paltz; 845-401-4499; hudsonvalleychalkfestival.com; free