Chalk the Walk 2019
2019 is the 14th anniversary of Iowa’s largest-ever Madonnari Festival, Chalk the Walk. This event is on Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Join the fun at Chalk the Walk 2019!
RSVP for Chalk the Walk 2019 on Facebook
Chalk the Walk will feature the work of over 500 artists of all ages and abilities! They will use 3/4 ton of chalk, with a downtown city street as their canvas. Last year’s 1st Place Winners, Craig Rogers and Jamie Rogers, will be invited to return to the event as the 2019 featured artists. Cash prizes will be awarded to chalk artists during a formal check presentation ceremony on Sunday afternoon, May 5. Outdoor food vendors and musicians will be on hand throughout both days of the event.
Chalk the Walk’s 2019 large collaborative piece of chalk art is a 34’ x 46’ recreation of Ukrainian artist Veronika Demenko’s colorful piece titled “Woodstock.” Each year a large collaborative piece of chalk art is recreated. For a $10 donation to the festival, any interested festival participant will be given a set of chalk sticks and create a single 2’ by 2’ square of a portion of the image. This centerpiece of Chalk the Walk will be colored with pastel chalk by dozens of artists of all ages and abilities.
“The committee chose Demenko’s piece to correspond with the 50th anniversary of Woodstock,” 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. 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.”
The area between City Hall and the old fire station is open and available for kids of all ages to practice their chalk art. Food vendors and music add to the festival atmosphere.
To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock, we’ll be hosting a Hippie Costume Contest! Wear your grooviest outfit and gather near the trees by Mount Vernon Bank and Trust 11am, 1pm, 3pm, and 5pm both days. Winners will be given $10 community cash that can be spent at any business in Mount Vernon.
New this year is a shuttle service. A shuttle bus will run from the Mount Vernon Middle School parking lot to the corner of 1st St. SW and 3rd Ave (near First Brick). The shuttle will run from 10AM-6:30PM both days.
Temporary handicap parking is available on the side of Highway 1, near Kae Apothecary and Skillet Cafe (just off of First St.). Additional handicap parking is available in front of Mount Vernon Pharmacy and the Mount Vernon Visitors Center.
This event is hosted by the City of Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon Parks and Recreation, the Mount Vernon Area Arts Council, and the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group. Generous sponsors also help make this festival possible.
Information for Artists:
Again this year, thanks to generous support from the City of Mount Vernon and the Mount Vernon Area Arts Council, many prizes will be awarded. One artist will receive a 1st place prize and will also be asked to return for the 2020 Chalk the Walk festival, where they will be given the opportunity to appear as the Featured Artist. There will also be other cash prizes awarded including the Artist’s and People’s Choice Awards!
- There is no fee to take part as an artist. Artists need only provide talent and enthusiasm!
- Artists will be allotted an 8’ x 10’ section of pavement.
- Chalk pastels will be provided.
- The Chalk the Walk committee will provide lunch vouchers that can be used at the temporary food vendor booths.
- The Chalk the Walk committee will provide a qualified juror to award prizes.
- Artists are asked not to bring other work to be sold.
About Mount Vernon
Historic Mount Vernon, Iowa, is home to 4500 residents, including 1200 college students enrolled at Cornell College. Located in Eastern Iowa at the intersection of Highways 30 and 1, 20 miles north of Iowa City and 15 miles east of Cedar Rapids, it boasts a vibrant uptown business community with numerous antique and specialty stores, restaurants, coffee houses, commercial art galleries, and three National Historic Districts.