Pastels on 5th — an all-day chalk art festival — returns to downtown Loveland Saturday with over 130 creatives transforming ordinary ground into an open-air gallery. The event will take place on 5th Street, adjacent to Loveland Museum.

Artist Jennifer Chaparro poses for a photo with her chalk art that won first place at Pastels on 5th in Loveland in 2019. (Kathy Dill/Courtesy photo)

Vicky Paul-Bryant, Pastels on 5th event director and one of the festival’s founders, said the event was modeled after a similar one in her hometown of Arcata, California.

“It was a long-running and popular event there and we hoped it would catch on in the same way here,” Paul-Bryant said. “I did not envision just how quickly it would grow, how many artists would want to be involved or how the community and sponsors would embrace it.”

Throughout its evolution, the event, now in its 11th year, has showcased the intricate work of regional creatives and provided significant funding for a local nonprofit.

“The most rewarding aspect of raising funds for Alternatives to Violence (ATV) is knowing just how important their services are to this community,” Paul-Bryant said. “Growing up, my life was significantly impacted by domestic violence. There were no safe houses back when my mom and I had to move to a new state, change our names and start over with the courageous support of family and friends.”

A chalk-art square created by Longmont-based artist Cynthia Barnes for 2020’s Pastels on 5th in Loveland. (Pastels on 5th/Courtesy photo)

Determined to craft a family-friendly event showcasing talented artists while also helping a cause close to her heart, Paul-Bryant got to work planning and recruiting.

“When we started Pastels on 5th, ATV was raising funds to open a domestic violence shelter in Loveland,” Paul-Bryant said. “That’s when former ATV board member Marcia Moellenberg and I decided to try the sidewalk chalk art festival as a benefit event. We saw it as a good way to bring the community together, draw attention to the topic of domestic violence and raise funds for the safe house.”

The inaugural festival featured 65 participating artists and sponsors. Over $10,000 was raised the first year for ATV.

“So many of the people involved with the event have told me how domestic violence impacted their life and how much they appreciate being part of such a fun event for such an important cause,” Paul-Bryant said.

In 2018, Pastels on 5th drew over 3,000 spectators eager to watch 140 artists transform sidewalks into eye-catching works of art. Over $50,000 was raised for ATV.

A pastel work, “Spring Has Happened,” by Jenn Hall, who will be participating in Pastels on 5th this Saturday. (Jenn Hall/Courtesy photo)

While certain artists return year after year, the event also welcomes fresh work from festival newbies.

“I am really looking forward to transforming my love of pastels on a much smaller scale of paper into a larger format,” said first-time participant Jenn Hall, who teaches art, computer graphics and robotics at Loveland High School. “It is a little intimidating — I must admit — but I am really looking forward to collaborating with some students of mine that have a real passion for art. I want to show them that there are many ways to create beauty through art and share it with their community in this exciting event.”

Hall’s award-winning work continues to catch the eye of collectors and one of her pieces is owned by Frederick Mayor Tracie Crites.

“I knew art would be a part of my career path when I walked into the art department of CSU,” Hall said. “I fell in love with the idea of making a career out of doing the one thing I loved all my life. I recall very vividly calling my dad from a payphone super ecstatic that I am going to be an artist, he paused and said, ‘Great, now figure out how you can make money doing that’ and hung up on me. Needless to say, I was a graphic artist for years and loved every minute of it.”

“Maya” by artist Jenn Hall. (Jenn Hall/Courtesy photo)

For Hall and other participating artists, there are no rigid rules when it comes to using concrete as canvas.

“Artists are given free rein to design their art square,” Paul-Bryant said. “We only ask that the artwork be family-friendly and not political. Many of them wait to see who their sponsor is and relate their artwork to their sponsor if possible or they reach out to their sponsor to see if the sponsor has any thoughts on the artwork.”

While the fundraiser is dedicated to helping the mission of ATV, a selection of participants are also awarded generously.

Cash prizes — sponsored by Jerry’s Artarama — are $300 for the first place winner, $150 for second place, $100 for third place and $50 for the Young Artist Award.

“We also have People’s Choice awards — a super popular feature of our event where festival spectators vote for their favorite works of art,” Paul-Bryant said. “Each vote costs $1 and you can vote as many times as you like for however many artists as you want. Voting is available at the People’s Choice booth at the festival or online.”

A gallery of artwork will be posted on PastelsOn5th.org and voting will stay open until Sunday, Sept. 19 at 5 p.m.

Amanda Gress poses for a photo near the chalk art square she crafted for UC Health at 2020’s Pastels on 5th in Loveland. (Pastels on 5th/Courtesy photo)

All the money from votes will go to ATV.

Saturday’s offerings also include live music from local bands and a marketplace featuring food, jewelry, pottery, paintings, soaps, lotions and more.

There’s also a children’s area where kids can craft their very own chalk art.

“I’m thrilled at the success of the event,” Paul-Bryant said.

 



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