How to Chalk the Walk ARTsplosion

Today is the annual Chalk the Walk ARTsplosion at Virginia Beach, VA. It is an all day event that starts at 10 am and finishes up at 5 pm. It’s a day where artists, amateur and professionals, get to create art between the streets of 15th and 17th. The theme this year is A World of Magic. We are looking to participate again this year, but with the weather looking pretty glum this early a.m., we have to wait and see, as it is out in the open and chalk dissolves with water. We’ve participated a total of 2 years now and have learned quite a bit about the event to give some pointers to people looking to participate. I like being prepared when I go an event. Our first time participating was rough with the sun beating down in full force. So I am hoping to help others be more prepared. If you are interested in learning more, read below:

Essentials to bring:

  • Chalk
    • I’ve seen different types.  I’ve seen at least one use chalk spray.  It definitely makes it easier but harder to control. This person brought in stencils to create his art.  Most people use regular chalk.
      • If you are looking to purchase still, A.C. Moore sells chalks at B1G1 at 50%, plus military discount. We got 2 boxes of chalk for $8.
    • It’s recommended you bring your own chalk. From experience, there are available chalk at the event. If you come early enough, you might score a whole pack; but if you come later on the day, you might have to look thru bits and pieces to find the color you want.
  • Water
    • For drinking and for erasing errors. Hard to erase mistakes with just hands.
  • Cloth
    • To help wipe mistakes and hands so the colors don’t get mixed unintentionally
  • Sunscreen
  • Towel to wipe sweat or to dry off after a quick dip at the beach
    • The event is by the beach.
  • Shade
    • This might not be a big problem today with the rain; but, the two years we went, it was very hot and sunny. Bring a patio type of umbrella to stand against the railing, with zip ties, or a rolling cooler. Or if you have a portable shade canopy, I’ve seen people bring those too. You may have to ask the person beside you if it’s okay to set it up though.
  • Snacks and some form of entertainment
    • I’m not comfortable leaving my kid(s) alone there, so I usually stay with them throughout the experience. I usually bring a book.
  • Optional
    • Power bank and earbuds

Where to park

  • The event takes place between 15th and 17th street.
  • 19th Street parking lot is the closest. This is not shaded. There are parking garages at 9th, 25th and 31st.
  • All lots and parking garages should accept major credit cards and debit cards. Bring cash for parking fee just in cash. It’s typically $10 to park at 19th St.; but, this is a special event, so the fee might be slightly higher.

Starting the art experience

  • Register at the registration table.
    • Registration is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to qualify for the competition
    • Advance registration is not required
    • Divisions are:
      • Amateur
      • Professional
      • Youth: 12-16
  • You will be given a 4 x 4 area to work on.
  • Theme: A world of Magic
  • Art are evaluated by a panel of judges based on these criterias
    • Composition
    • Use of Color
    • Adherence to Theme
    • Creativity
  • There is a popularity vote as well where spectators vote for their favorite, so don’t forget to vote for yours and/or promote.
  • All drawings must be completed by 3:30 p.m. to be eligible for prizes.
  • There will be Trophies and Cash prized for each division.
  • Winner will be announced at 4:30 pm.
  • A Virginian Pilot representative is usually there taking pictures and doing little interviews of participants, so it’s an opportunity to see yourself or friends and fam featured on their website. Very cool I think.
  • My teen’s entry from previous years – Moana

What’s around the area

  • The event is at Oceanfront so there will be lots of restaurants to buy food and drinks at walking distance from. If you forget sunscreen, need a change of clothes, towels, umbrellas, there are stores that sells them in walking distance.
  • There are lots of hotels to book if you need a room. It is summer though, so I’m not sure how much rooms are available at short notice. The price will also be hiked up due to peak season.
  • There is a Dairy Queen at the event location with a city public restroom, with working faucets and toilet flush-definite plus for me. 

Final words

We have not won a prize yet; but as you can see my teen is having fun and continues to participate. I love being able to to see and record how her art improves over time. Don’t forget the most important thing: have fun and let your imagination flow.

Until next time.


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