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Making ‘beautiful art’: Kentville chalk art festival returns with strong success

Torontonian chalk artist David Johnston, known professionally as ‘Chalk Master Dave’, has been creating chalk art around the world for the past 25 years. He moved to Bedford a few years ago, where he attends different chalk festivals and events.
Torontonian chalk artist David Johnston, known professionally as ‘Chalk Master Dave’, has been creating chalk art around the world for the past 25 years. He moved to Bedford a few years ago, where he attends different chalk festivals and events. - Chris Saulnier

KENTVILLE, NS - Creativity flourished in Kentville on July 14 as chalk artists and chalk lovers took over Webster Street and created a community canvas for the second annual Kentville Chalk Art Festival.

Children, chalk artists, chocolate loving vendors and everyone in-between came out to take part in the fun.

Artists Edson Landa, left, and Jessica Parga sit next to their 3D masterpiece. The two artists first started with chalk 10 years ago in a chalk art contest in Mexico. Since then, they have travelled across North America taking part in different chalk art contests. This is their first chalk art contest in Canada.
Artists Edson Landa, left, and Jessica Parga sit next to their 3D masterpiece. The two artists first started with chalk 10 years ago in a chalk art contest in Mexico. Since then, they have travelled across North America taking part in different chalk art contests. This is their first chalk art contest in Canada.

Alyson Dobrota, a Kentville native and executive director of PBJ Designs in Dartmouth, spearheaded the event in its first incarnation back in October 2017, and after seeing success, decided to bring it back again for a summertime edition. This year's edition was organized by summer student Alex Dunphy.

Dobrota said that while it’s not a huge project, the goal is to bring the community together and bring art to the town, and she feels that’s exactly what was accomplished.

Like all good artists, Adrienne Peace focuses hard on her chalk art masterpiece.
Like all good artists, Adrienne Peace focuses hard on her chalk art masterpiece.

“We often do projects that are a little out there, we do creative projects that are small in scope but create big changes, which is kind of our motto,” said Dobrota. “With this, it helps to bring art to the town, brings the community together in a way that they wouldn’t normally expect it. It’s not the typical event, but just by closing off the street and throwing some chalk around, a lot happens within the street.”

Adrienne, left, and Oliver Peace work alongside Peter and Hazel Baxter to bring their chalk art sea turtle to life.
Adrienne, left, and Oliver Peace work alongside Peter and Hazel Baxter to bring their chalk art sea turtle to life.

Different at this year’s event were a few more activation pieces, such as rentable bikes, vendors and food.

Jeff and Kerri Goode, owners of Kings Chocolate, were among the vendors at the event. They say they enjoyed taking part and appreciated the opportunity to be involved.

Maddox, left, and Hendrix Eye attending the chalk art festival for their second times and loving every minute of it.
Maddox, left, and Hendrix Eye attending the chalk art festival for their second times and loving every minute of it.

“It’s been a beautiful day with a lot of beautiful art,” said Goode. “it’s nice to be here and to be able to support the community.”

Dobrota added that she’s pleased with the result of the second event and already has plans to do it again next year.

Annapolis Valley native and art hobbyist Meghan Cohoon tries her hand at chalk art in her first year attending the festival. She drew one of her interpretations of the world.
Annapolis Valley native and art hobbyist Meghan Cohoon tries her hand at chalk art in her first year attending the festival. She drew one of her interpretations of the world.

“There’s always room for more turnout on the street, but we’re definitely happy with the turn out we had today,” said Dobrota. “The plan is to do it again next year, no date or anything set in stone yet, but the feedback has been really good so far, so we’re hoping to keep doing it.”

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