AMA preps for ChalkFest 2021

Chalk Art, Craft Beer and Live Music Festival Returns on Saturday, Nov 13
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ALBANY, GA -With the 4th annual Albany Museum of Art ChalkFest only days away, the event is shaping up to be a fall “masterpiece” of a street art festival. The 4th annual AMA ChalkFest will be 10 am-5 pm on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021 on the 100 block of Pine Avenue in downtown Albany, which will be closed to traffic. Admission is free for everyone.

“We’ve had tremendous response from the community and from our generous sponsors,” Chloe Hinton, director of development and membership for the Albany Museum of Art, said. “We have 10 talented professional chalk artists, an array of talented community artists, terrific entertainment, fun kids’ activities, craft beers and cocktails for adults, and food trucks and vendors. With nice fall weather, it should be a wonderful experience for everyone!”

While long-range weather forecasts are iffy at best, chances appear good the daytime temperatures will top out at a comfortable 72 degrees—perfect for an outdoor fall festival. “We’ve been fortunate that previous ChalkFestshave missed out on showers, and we’re hoping to keep that streak intact,” AMA ChalkFest Committee Co-Chair Mallory Black said.

Because of the outstanding support of sponsors, there is no gate admission to the event, which is one of the AMA’s signature fundraisers.

“The free admission is a gift to the community,” Black said. “We have all been through a lot these past two years with the pandemic. This is an opportunity for us to not only celebrate art and the harvest season, but our own resiliency in the fresh fall air.”

Wristbands for tastings of craft beers and cocktails that will be available and for the Publix VIP Area on the Flint RiverQuarium second-floor patio overlooking the festival are available for purchase at secure online links at www.amachalkfest.com/publix-vip-experience and  www.amachalkfest.com/tasting-tickets.

“Tasting wristbands are $30 for AMA members and $40 for non-members if purchased online ahead of the festival,” Hinton said. “Those sold at the gate will be $45 for everyone. These wristbands are only for adults 21 and older, and IDs will be checked. The craft beer tents will open at noon and continue through the festival closing at 5 pm.

“The Publix VIP wristbands are $100 for AMA members and $125 for non-members. That gives you access to food from Locos Grill, cocktails from Thirteenth Colony Distilleries, Pretoria Fields beers and seltzers, VIP parking adjacent to the AMA ChalkFest grounds, unlimited tastings, a collectible souvenir cup, a swag bag and access to indoor restroom facilities at the RiverQuarium. Adults who buy VIP wristbands also can purchase wristbands for their kids ($25 for AMA members or $30 for non-members) so their young artist can snag a bite to eat, catch the birds-eye view of the event, and get this year’s limited edition ChalkFest T-shirt.”

This year’s T-shirt includes a design by Athens, Ga., artist and musician Elinor Saragoussi, whose installation Escape Plan in the AMA West Gallery is part of the museum’s permanent collection.

“We love the whimsical nature of Eli’s marvelous work,” AMA Executive Director Andrew J. Wulf, Ph.D., said. “Her style and imagination are a natural fit for AMA ChalkFest, and we are very pleased that she agreed to design the artwork for this year’s limited-edition T-shirts.”

The professional chalk artists have been asked to create works with the theme Masterpieces. The theme this year was inspired by European Splendors: Old Master Paintings from the Kress Collection, which is on view in the AMA’s Haley Gallery through Dec 23. Organized by the Columbia Museum of Art in South Carolina with support from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the exhibition was made possible at the AMA by the support of the Walter and Frances Bunzl Family Foundation.

The lineup of professional chalk artists, each of whom will create 50-square-foot artworks on the pavement while festival-goers watch, includes 2018 best of show winner Heather Cap, of Fayetteville; Jessi Queen, of Atlanta; Zachary Herndon, of Atlanta; Chelsey Scott, of Atlanta; Fawn DeRosia, of Thomaston; Beth Shistle of DeLand, Fla.; Lata Mary Fields, of LaGrange; Sonia Summers, of Knoxville, Tenn., and Brittany Williams, of Atlanta. Anna Wilschetz, of Albany, who won the adult amateur category at the 2018 and 2019 ChalkFests, is moving into the professional category this year.

“These skilled artists create fantastic works of art that are unique and ephemeral,” Black said. “You can see the artists creating their masterpieces on the pavement, and you can only see these chalk paintings as they are meant to be viewed at ChalkFest.”

Annie Vanoteghem, director of education and public programming for the AMA, said the roster of community artists also is filling out. Fees for community artists have been waived this year, thanks to the sponsorship by Smile Doctors.

“We have at least 15 individual community artists and 19 school and organization teams signed up,” Vanoteghem said. “They will create their chalk art on smaller squares than the professional artists, and we will provide them with complimentary chalk packs.”

Small chalk packs, sponsored by Webstaurant Store, will be given away to young children at the gates while supplies last. “They’ll be able to find their own spots on the pavement or sidewalk to create their own artworks,” Vanoteghem said.

Kids also will be able to enjoy the AMAzing Activities area, sponsored by Vine Vision, which will include games, activities such as face-painting, building with the AMA’s “big blue blocks” and more. The Albany Recreation & Parks Department will be on hand with art projects for young festival-goers.

“We’ll have animals and birds from Chehaw, which are always popular with children and their parents,” Vanoteghem said. “It will be a nice fall day for families to go outdoors and enjoy art and fun activities together.”

Meanwhile, AMA Executive Director Wulf will make a big splash for ChalkFest—maybe many splashes—by manning the Dunk the Director booth.

Creating a soundtrack for the event will be afternoon music sets by two popular music groups. Harry Day and the Dreamers, Taylor Cook, and Dirt Road Sports will perform on the Tri-State Florist Supply stage in the grassy area adjacent to the RiverQuarium. The D.C. Soul Line Dancers also will perform.

“You can sit back in the grass and listen to music while you munch on something from one of the food trucks or enjoy one of the many beverages that will be available,” Hinton said.

Non-alcoholic beverages will be available from vendors and food trucks. For those who like craft beers and cocktails, choices at tasting tents will include from Monday Night Brewing in Atlanta: Dr. Robot Blackberry Lemon Sour Ale and Narwater Hard Seltzers; from Wild Leap Brewery in LaGrange: LMNADE Sour Ale and Alpha 17 IPA; from Folklore Brewing in Dothan, Ala.: Grateful Red Ale, Front Porch Pale Ale, Wiregrass Wheat Ale; from Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer: Mixed Berry, Citrus and Mango Apricot, and from Cutwater RTD Cocktails: Mai Tai, Vodka Transfusion, Strawberry, Margarita, White Russian, Vodka Soda Grapefruit and Vodka Mule. Either a Tastings or VIP wristband is required for craft beer and cocktail tastings.

“This is truly a community event, and it takes a community working together to organize and present a festival like ChalkFest,” Wulf said. “We are grateful to have the support and help from our wonderful sponsors and partners who make this event possible.”

In addition to Publix, Tri-State Florist, Smile Doctors, Webstaurant Store and Vine Vision, AMA ChalkFest: Masterpieces is sponsored by Yancey Rentals, Adams Exterminators, Synovus Bank, Georgia Community Bank, Bridge Import Group, Phoebe, Albany Motorcars, BMW of Albany, the James M. Barnett, Jr. Foundation, F&W Forestry, Bishop Clean Care, Fleming & Riles Insurance, J&J, Albany Internal Medicine, JLA, MetroPower, Thirteenth Colony Distilleries, LRA Constructors, AB&T, Flint Community Bank, Hughey & Neuman, Beverage South, Southern Spine & Health, and Southern Point Staffing.

Partnering with the AMA on ChalkFest are the Flint RiverQuarium and the Artesian Alliance, the Flint River Entertainment Complex, WALB, The Albany Herald, Albany Beverage Company, Pretoria Fields Collective, Southwest Georgia Living, Eddie’s Signs, Relative Media and Marketing, AAA Concrete, Locos Grill & Pub, Newk’s Eatery, Bottoms Up!, and Downtown Albany.