The medium is chalk on pavement, but the art is often sublime.
The Sarasota Chalk Festival brings the finest street artists from around the world to this area to create beautiful works of art and stunning 3-D illusions on the sidewalks of downtown Sarasota. Visitors have the opportunity to see finished work, and watch the artists as they create.This year's seventh annual festival is runs though Monday, along Pineapple Avenue in the Burns Court District. It will expand a few more blocks, north toward Five Points Park, in the last few days of the festival.
Organizers set a theme each year. Last year it was "Circus City USA," a celebration of Sarasota's big-top legacy. This year it's "Legacy of Valor" in honor of America's veterans.
The festival has grown steadily since its inception in 2007. This year's festival is six-days long -- shorter than in some previous years, but double its geographic area.
More than 500 artists are expected to participate.
The festival focuses on chalk art, but it also features murals, sculptures and temporary installations. This year, one large featured sculpture planned for the festival is a minimalist sculpture garden based on the Sarasota National Cemetery.
Details: Today-Monday, Burns Square district and Five Points Park on South Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota. Information: 941-954-5800, chalkfestival.org.
-- Marty Clear