Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council's first Big Draw last week was a hit with residents as well as visual and performing artists.
"Chalk painting on the streets has been happening throughout history and now it has been brought to Pleasanton," said artist Claudette McDermott, who won $100 for placing first with her pastel chalk drawing. "What a joy it was to participate in and see all the amazing works that took many, many hours to create."
The arts festival spread throughout downtown, with the area around the Firehouse Arts Center filled with arts and crafts sales, Division Street covered with chalk art, and performers at several venues. A mystery led participants to businesses downtown as they followed clues to find a missing "Monet."
The Big Draw was planned to show that art is not a passive experience, said organizer Jill Vellinger, with art that could be "seen, felt, touched and enjoyed." The event raised more than $6,000, Vellinger said, which will benefit PCAC's Arts in the Schools Grant Program.
"And even more exciting were the things we saw happening all that day," Vellinger said.
The event included:
- 21 emerging artists creating sponsored squares that were 4 feet square;
- 27 artists, mostly children and their families, creating squares that were 2 feet square;
- A huge amount of people participating in the community mural;
- Professional artists mentoring the other artists and passers;
* Multi-cultural performances; and
* A non-stop concert at three of the pianos that had constant crowds around them.
"Families and and individuals were talking about and seeing the art on Division Street after the festival, throughout the weekend and even as late as Wednesday," Vellinger said Wednesday evening.