Albany Museum of Art ChalkFest Is Saturday, October 5th

Staff Report From Albany CEO

Monday, September 30th, 2019

A dozen professional chalk artists will create giant images on the pavement in the 100 block of Pine Avenue when AMA ChalkFest returns on Saturday, Oct 5, 2019.
Gates will open at 10 am for AMA ChalkFest: Pop Art & Pop Tops, the 2nd annual chalk art and craft beer festival that attracted 3,000 to downtown Albany in fall 2018. This year’s theme draws a playful connection between art and craft beer, but there also will be plenty of music popping up in the air during the day.
With at least 15 craft breweries participating, AMA ChalkFest Chair Mallory Black says the event will build on the solid foundation that was established at last year’s successful inaugural festival. The event includes live music and entertainment all day, as well as a wide variety of food trucks and vendors. There also is a special children’s area where kids can engage in fun and creative activities.
“We have some truly talented professional chalk artists lined up. Many of them are returning from last year,” Black said. “There’s increasing excitement as the date gets closer. The artwork they created last year was phenomenal. We have another great theme—Pop Art & Pop Tops—to inspire their work.
“We also have many more local groups, amateur artists, and students and children who have signed up to create their own chalk art masterpieces on the pavement, so you’ll get to see a lot of our local talent on display, too!”
The AMA’s new executive director, Dr. Andrew James Wulf, is expected to attend the event.
“It’ll be a great opportunity for the members of the community to meet Dr. Wulf in a casual, fun setting,” Black said. “What a terrific way to welcome someone to Albany!”
The festival is the major fall fundraiser for the Albany Museum of Art. Proceeds from AMA ChalkFest help the AMA pursue its mission of providing the Albany community and Southwest Georgia with access to world-class art. ChalkFest helps enable the AMA to provide free admission to its exhibitions while also providing an avenue to take art out of the museum and to the community.
“You’re not just having a great time,” Black noted. “You’re supporting an important cause.”
Professional chalk artists who are scheduled to participate include Leigh Alfredson, of Sanford, Fla.; Chelsey Austin, of Atlanta; Cathryn Bozone, of Atlanta; Heather Cap, of Fayetteville; Fawn DeRosia, of Thomaston; Lata Fields, of Hogansville; Destiny Joiner, of Thomaston; Jennifer Richardson, of Murfreesboro, Tenn.; Anat Ronen, of Houston, Texas; Beth Shistle, of DeLand, Fla. ; Victoria Slagle, of LaGrange, and Brittany Williams, of Atlanta. Cap’s piece In These Hands captured first place at the first AMA ChalkFest.

Each artist will create an image inspired by the pop art theme on the pavement of Pine Avenue. Each image will be 50 square feet or larger.
“These are all talented artists who have participated in numerous chalk art festivals, such as the two-day Chalktoberfest event by the Marietta-Cobb Museum of Art in Marietta or the weeklong Sarasota Chalk festival in Sarasota, Fla.,” Black said. “Their work is absolutely amazing.”
Those 21 and older who purchase a green craft beer tasting wristband or a yellow VIP wristband can sample the numerous craft beers from Georgia and other states. “You can enjoy a variety or find a favorite you want to stay with while you’re at the festival,” she said. “We will ID everyone to confirm age. You won’t need to buy any tickets. You just need your complementary tasting glass and green or yellow wristband to sample the beers.”
Craft brewers expected to participate include Ballast Point Brewing Co., Cherry Street, Eden Ice Ciders, Eventide Brewing, Funky Buddha, Hubbard’s Cave, Macon Beer Co., Monday Night Brewing, North 2 South Cider Works, Ology Brewing, Omaha Brewing Co., Orpheus Brewing, Pretoria Fields Collective, Scofflaw Brewing Co., SweetWater Brewing Co., and Terrapin Beer Co.
“The best experience is to get one of the limited number of yellow VIP wristbands,” Black said. “VIP admission gives you access to the exclusive Pretoria Field VIP Lounge, where you can enjoy some air-conditioning, snacks, brewery tours and catch part of the football game on TV during ChalkFest. You get a premium collectible tasting glass, a tote bag, and VIP parking adjacent to the festival grounds.”
VIPs also are invited to the AMA Contemporaries’ festival kickoff party 7-9 pm on Friday, Oct. 4 at The Flint restaurant on Pine Avenue. The party will include live music, food prepared by The Flint and a cash bar, and guests will be able to meet many of the chalk artists who will be at ChalkFest the next day. No tickets will be sold at the door for the kickoff party, which is free for AMA Contemporaries’ members and ChalkFest VIP ticketholders.
Admission with craft beer tastings is $35. VIP admission is $75. Those who do not wish to sample the craft beer or have access to the Pretoria Fields VIP Lounge can buy general admission for $5. Children 12 years old and younger are admitted free, but must be under adult supervision.
Regardless of admission level, guests to ChalkFest will be able to watch the chalk artists work. There will be a wide variety of food trucks and vendors on the festival grounds, and music will be in the air. Youth groups are scheduled to perform during the morning, followed by four music acts taking the stage.
“We have a terrific schedule for music,” Black said. “We’re mixing some acoustical music and vocals earlier in the day with bands later in the afternoon as the excitement revs up.”
Opening the festival on stage will be acoustic musician Anthony Johnson performing Americana and his original works at 10 am.
After Johnson’s set, school and local groups, including the Westover High School Royal Doll Dance Line, will entertain guests.
Phillip Williams is scheduled to perform at 1 pm with classic country music and rock ‘n’ roll.
He will be followed at 2:30 pm by Julie Bennett, who will perform a mix of new country and rock, as well as some older pop music.
Backseat Driving will take the stage at 3:45 pm. The Bronwood trio will bring a Texas Country sound to their covers and original songs.
Wrapping up the final hour of the festival will be BoDean and the Poachers performing all-original Americana.
“It’s a terrific musical lineup,” Black said. “We think it’ll be a great soundtrack for the amazing art that visitors will see being created before their eyes on the street. I’m sure a lot of our guests will hang out at the stage area as well.”
Kids’ activities will get an early start at AMA ChalkFest. Each spring and fall, the museum joins with the City of Albany Recreation and Park Department for a Family Day. This year’s fall event is being conducted at ChalkFest.
“We’ll bring the big blue building blocks from the museum’s AMAzing Space to the festival, and we have other activities children and youth can enjoy,” said Annie Vanoteghem, director of education and public programming for the AMA. “We also will have chalk packs that kids will receive when they get to the festival, so they can create art during the event.”
Kristin Caso, marketing and special events coordinator for the Albany Recreation & Parks Department, said many of the activities will have fall and Halloween themes.
“We’ll have jewelry beads so the kids can make bracelets and necklaces,” Caso said. “I also have hilarious fall-oriented glasses for the kids. One’s a pumpkin, one’s a spider and one’s a monster! Everything will be something they can wear at the festival and then take home.”