Woodstock art

Chalk the Walk to celebrate Woodstock

The City of Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon Parks and Recreation, the Mount Vernon Area Arts Council and the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group (CDG) have announced the 14th annual Chalk the Walk, Iowa’s largest-ever Madonnari Festival. The two-day festival will take place Saturday and Sunday, May 4 and 5, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.

The centerpiece of the event will be a larger than life version of Ukrainian artist Veronika Demenko’s colorful piece titled “Woodstock.” The piece was chosen to correspond with the 50th anniversary of the historic concert in Bethel, New York.

“Searching for the large community piece is always a fun process for the committee.” said Danielle Chargo, Chair of the Chalk the Walk committee. “It was important to us that we pick a piece that is both colorful and family friendly. Demenko’s piece seemed perfect for the Chalk the Walk format and it would be a fun way to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. We are hoping that families across Iowa will embrace their inner hippie and join us this year to celebrate Woodstock in chalk.”

Chalk the Walk is based on an original art form that began in Italy in the 16th century. Called Madonnari, this form of public art was originally done by street artists hoping to collect coins from passersby. Images back then were based on religious themes, and as the Madonna was a popular subject, the artists became known as the “Madonnari.”

Artists interested in participating with a 8′ x 10′ square are encouraged to apply early, space is limited.

Find an artist application here:

Find a food vendor application here:

Find a sponsorship letter and application here:

Find a volunteer application here: