EL PASO- Dozens of artists are unleashing their creativity in Downtown El Paso this weekend. "Chalk the Block" is a three-day event that features music, food and of course, art!
The sidewalks of Downtown El Paso will serve as canvasses that artists will use for this weekend's 4th annual Chalk the Block.
“It involves artists turning sidewalks into temporary chalk murals and lots of different performances,” said City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department Ben Fyffe.
Organizers say last year the event drew 25,000 people over the course of three days. There will be plenty of food vendors along with musicians, performers, dancers, and of course artists.
“The bulk of the artists are from El Paso but we also bring international artists as well,” said Ben.
Stephen Ingle, one of the participating artists, is the co-founder of "Creative Kids”, a non-profit organization that teaches children with cancer and disabilities about art. These pictures are of the drawings that Stephen and his team of five members created for the event the past three years.
“You're not doing something in a normal situation. This is, you're fighting the elements of weather. You're up against concrete, which is a pretty tough material and then you're doing a competition against time,” said Stephen.
Artists have 12 hours to complete the pieces. The one Stephen's team did last year was was a 10 x 15 ft. drawing. There are many layers to get the colors and the shading just right. "To get this kind of orange-red, there are five, six layers of different colors and tones," said Stephen. "So each time you're working, you have to seal it again, go back, reapply, decide if it's coming out good."
Stephen says besides giving artists the opportunity to showcase their talent. The event also gives El Pasoans the chance to see the great things that are happening Downtown.
“There are great strides that are being done not only in the art field but also in the Downtown revitalization programs that are coming about,” said Stephen.
And it's not just the artists who can make their artistic marks on the sidewalks. “When you go to this event, you're often times inspired by all the great work that you see happening, so you can pick up chalk yourself and go to one of these chalking areas and created your own masterpiece,” said Ben.
Chalk the block is being held in downtown El Paso tomorrow night from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Admission is free. For a map of where everything will be going on and other information, visit www.chalktheblock.com .