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Sarasota Chalk Festival to Launch Chalk Line at Tonight's Christmas Walk


SARASOTA – The Sarasota Chalk Festival will open ‘Chalk Line,’ its new fundraising venture today during the Burns Square Christmas walk. Chalk Line will feature works by artists that participate in the Chalk Festival and Going Vertical programs as well as props made by volunteers and merchandise from the events. Proceeds will benefit the Avenida de Colores 501(c)(3) cultural arts organization that produces the festival.


“In addition to original artwork, we have a vast array of items people are interested in, such as printed posters, hand-painted circus banners and mermaid tails," said Chalk Festival founder Denise Kowal. "We even have interest in Snowflake the Elephant so we tried to squeeze her into the gallery.”

Snowflake, along with the male elephant from 2012, and the Statue of Liberty from 2013 are for sale or rent but not on display. The festival features a new look yearly to support a chosen theme and has over 300 volunteers that dedicate their time and skills to make it happen. In 2011, the festival became the first international street painting event in the U.S.A when it celebrated the theme ‘Pavement Art Through the Ages.’

“For the 2012 Circus theme we painted 10 banners," explained Kowal. "Carolann Cahill painted one of the Tattooed Lady during our ‘Get Your Hands Dirty’ prop making Sundays. She did not even know she could paint but did such a magnificent job. We have fun with the themes and the artwork created is just magnificent.”

The Tattoo Lady banner disappeared at the end of the 2012 festival and was never found, but all the others will be available to view and for sale. The new space was home to CLOTHESLINE Gallery & Boutique that produced art shows by local artists and sold creative merchandise. It is owned by Denise’s son, Austin Kowal.

“I decided to direct my energy to expanding the Clothesline Printing and Design portion of the business and help other art-minded businesses," said Austin Kowal. "I am leaving the gallery space for the time being, making it a perfect time for Chalk Line to open. On top of my design and print business, I will still create great merchandise for sale and this weekend will be at the Atomic Bazaar for my 6th season."


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