AMA’s ChalkFest welcomes Saturday forecast

Free event set for Downtown Albany in the 100 block of Pine Avenue
Chalkfest T Shirt

ALBANY-GA AMAzing Activities for families and kids will be a central part of Albany Museum of Art ChalkFest which returns to the 100 block of Pine Avenue in downtown Albany on what promises to be a beautiful fall Saturday.

“The forecast for Saturday (Nov 13) is phenomenal,” Albany Museum of Art Executive Director Andrew J. Wulf, Ph.D., said. “We could not ask for better weather. Sunny skies and a high in the mid-60s will be a fantastic setting for this fall celebration of art and community.”

Admission is free for the chalk art festival, which opens at 10 am and continues until 5 pm, with the 100 block of Pine Avenue closed to motorists. In addition to chalk art masterpieces created on the pavement by professional artists and an array of community artists, AMA ChalkFest will feature live music and entertainment, craft beer and cocktails for adults, and food trucks and vendors.

But one of the most popular venues will be the new AMAzing Activities area, sponsored by Vine Vision, which features a number of ways for families to enjoy creative fun on a cool, autumn Saturday. It will be located in the grassy area adjacent to the Flint RiverQuarium.

The Tri-State Florist Supply stage, located near AMAzing Activities, will open with a demo by animal experts from Chehaw, who also will have a tent at the event. After that, the day will have a musical soundtrack provided by Saints of God House of Worship Choir, Harry Day and the Dreamers, Taylor Cook, and Dirt Road Sports.

“We’re bringing in the Big Blue Blocks from the children’s activity center at the AMA so kids can build sculptures, forts…whatever they like,” Annie Vanoteghem, director of education and public programming for the museum, said. “Our friends from Chehaw and the Artesian Alliance will have birds and animals at their tent, which is always popular with kids, and the City of Albany Recreation and Parks Department will have fun art projects for children to create.”

Children attending the festival will each receive a three-pack of sidewalk chalk sponsored by Webstaurant Store while supplies last, and other community chalk will be available for young artists use on sidewalks and pavement in the area.

“We’ll have face-painting,” Vanoteghem said. “If your child needs to work off some energy, we have a bouncy house and outdoor games for them to play.”

Young artists also will have an opportunity to participate in a special collaborative display.  “It will be a display of paper butterflies from all the kids who come,” Vanoteghem said. “It’s symbolic of rebirth together in our community after a couple of tough years. The butterflies will all be unique and special, like we are.”

As with admission, all of the kids’ activities are free of charge.

One attraction at the AMAzing Activities area that does have nominal cost will likely be as popular with some adults and it is kids. Executive Director Wulf likely will be wishing the weather was a little warmer when he climbs into the Dunk the Director tank. Wulf will be targeted to “take a dive for art” from 1 pm to 3 pm.

“For a $5 donation, an individual gets to throw three balls at the target,” Vanoteghem said. “We also have a sure-thing option where, for a $20 donation, you can just walk over and press the target. You’re guaranteed to Dunk the Director with that one!”

“We’ve been looking for the sweet spot as far as the timing for ChalkFest, and it looks like it will be a gorgeous fall Saturday in Southwest Georgia,” Wulf said. “Still, it is a little chilly for dropping into a water tank. At least I’ll get dunked during the warmest part of the day and, thankfully, I’ll be wearing a wetsuit on loan from our partners at the Flint RiverQuarium.”

Festival-goers can watch the 10 professional chalk artists create 50-square-foot masterpieces on the pavement in style, too. Special limited edition ChalkFest T-shirts, featuring artwork by Athens artist Elinor Saragoussi, will be on sale at the festival for $10 for children’s sizes and $20 for adult sizes. You can have your collectible T-shirt tie-dyed for an additional $5.

In addition, more than 30 community artists and teams will create chalk artwork on the surface of Pine Avenue.

For adults 21 and older, craft beers, seltzers and cocktails will be available noon-5 pm for those who purchase unlimited tasting wristbands. Advance sales of wristbands online have ended, but the wristbands may be purchased at the ChalkFest Store tent at the festival for $45 each. There also will be a variety of food trucks and vendors.

For details, visit www.amachalkfest.com.