Chalkfest brings over 100 sidewalk artists to Wilson Park - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Chalkfest brings over 100 sidewalk artists to Eau Claire's Wilson Park

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - Drawing on the sidewalk with chalk may seem like an activity designed for kids. But Saturday afternoon, more than 100 artists of all ages did their best work on the sidewalks of Eau Claire's Wilson Park.

"You can draw anything, and you can see all the artists, its a nice varied show," said Peter Davidson of Rice Lake.

There's really no telling what you'll find on the grounds of Chalkfest, because the ground is the canvas; a really big one.

"I don't have a shop big enough to do an eight foot by eight foot design, and I take advantage of that for this being a perspective piece. For the viewers, they can stand back and look at this piece and say "Hey, it's like I'm actually looking out of this hole," said Nathan Roesler of Menomonie.

It's a cat, chasing a bird, into a tree; and its all on the sidewalk.

"You've got to build the pigment up in the little grooves, so it actually takes more chalk to make more vibrant color," Roesler explained.

But the surface itself can cause problems.

"Yeah I've got the kneepads and the gloves. These also help rubbing in like those last bits of chalk that are hard to use because your finger tips can take quite a beating. Just (makes motion with hand) I'm not used to rubbing my fingers on the sidewalk all day," added Davidson.

Sometimes, the biggest challenge is having too much space.

"Trying to get the proportions right, like when you have a small drawing you need to make it bigger, and if you have something small in there it won't look right," said Autumn Tio of Eau Claire

But these are sidewalks after all, so you may end up having to sit or step on your masterpiece in order to get everything they way you want it.

"You accept walking on it, you know you just have to have a nice footfall, and pick up straight. You don't want to just run out there and slide all over it and skid, because that'll just mess it up. You know, you sneeze on it that could mess it up depending on how high the dust is," Davidson said.

The dust will settle on the competition tonight at 7 p.m. but you still have time to see the completed works. Weather permitting; the pieces will be on display Sunday for Chalkfest Gallery Day.

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