Anna Maria Island Chalk Art, Who knew ?

Spending the day strolling on famous and eclectic Pine Ave. on Anna Maria Island in Florida was so much more than I expected today.
 But I am getting ahead of myself.  Flash back two years, we are renting off island near a wildlife preserve, nice, tropical, a heated pool even, but it really did not have that neighborhood feeling to it.  Frankly I felt a bit isolated, especially when Brian was in Maine working (silent prayer of thanks for my two doggies).  Two weeks before our three month stay was to end we were informed that the owner had sold the house and it would not be available for us to rent next year.   Panic !  Enter……my love, my persistent, determined, problem solving love.   Brian made quick work of our dilemma, after countless phone calls we were on our way to Anna Maria Island to see a property that had just been turned down for re-rent.  You must understand, these homes in this area rarely come up for rent, once a contract is signed renters tend to hang on to them for years, this highly coveted bohemian beachy neighborhood is very hard to get into.  We pinched ourselves the following year when we moved in, a dog friendly, and green to the max community, with a group of community leaders that have bold ideas and tireless devotion to their town.  
Here is a quote from the web page for the chalk art festival :

Taking place January 18th and 19th, t he 1st annual Anna Maria Chalk Festival is a collaboration between the Pine Avenue Restoration group, the Tourist and Development Council, the Historic Green Village, members of the Anna Maria Island’s artistic and cultural community and Sarasota Chalk Festival founder Denise Kowal. The festival will take place January 18th and 19th with a VIP Artist’s Reception and Dinner on January 17th at the Studio at Gulf and Pine. The event will be a two day local community festival that will reflect the historic and unique qualities of Anna Maria. Street painters, also known as I Madonnari, will use chalk as their medium and the road surface of Pine Avenue as their canvas to create oversized masterworks of art while the public becomes an integral part of the creative process as the viewer. Local artists are encouraged to participate and able to receive instructional classes prior to the weekend event. Students in grades 7-12 can have their own spot to chalk and the younger children are invited to chalk in the Children’s Area. Participation is free to all and chalk is provided. The theme will be ‘Historic Anna Maria, from Pirates to the Present’ spanning the length of Pine Avenue, which stretches from Tampa Bay to the Gulf of Mexico. Pine Avenue, which has been called, “The Greenest Little Mainstreet in America” is a live/work paradise sprinkled with residential cottages, professional offices and retail shops serving the surrounding community as well as visitors from around the world. The street is a vibrant example of how responsive development done within, not upon, a community can add value to the culture. This has helped position Anna Maria on the cutting edge of a global transition movement, based on local initiative, in which, individuals, neighbors, neighborhoods and communities take into their own hands the economic, environmental and cultural destiny of their communities.

The Anna Maria Chalk Festival is a logical extension of the many green initiatives that have been implemented on Pine Avenue over the last six years. And while the artist will get dirty, the festival will keep everything clean and green by using sustainable, non-toxic pastels which nature will wash away.

Great right ?  I know, I am still pinching myself  each day that I wake up and walk out on the balcony with my coffee and wave to my neighbors and their endless variety of dogs passing by on their morning walks.

So to the festival !  this is an aerial shot of Pine Ave.  (we are one street over on the right on Spring Ave.  four houses up from the pier)  this was completely shut down for traffic this weekend so the art could take over.  Imagine the street filled with strolling families with dogs and children, countless electric golf carts and bicycles, musicians playing music and artists deep in that meditative state that one reaches when working on something you love,   covered in pastels of chalk.  Heaven really.

This is a chalk drawing of the artists husband as a pirate.

1 comment

Back to Top