Annual ‘Via Arte’ artists chalk up


Lizette Chavez

Stockdale High School student Eesha Sohail smiles as she works on her chalk art piece at the local “Via Arte” event.

Christina Benavides, Reporter

Hundreds gathered for The Bakersfield Museum of Art’s 19th Annual Via Arte Italian Street Painting Festival on Oct. 22.

The event was held from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the parking lot of the Marketplace located at 9000 Ming Avenue. Spectators walked around admiring the chalk artwork on the asphalt while live music and entertainment play.

Sponsorships allowed professional and student artists from local high schools to showcase their artistic abilities. There was a range of artwork featuring movie characters, Greek mythology, Mexican culture, and replications of famous art work such as the painting “The Scream.”

Lizette Chavez
Frank Cowper’s “Vanity” piece being recreated on asphalt with chalk by artist April Martinez at the annual “Via Arte” chalk art event held in The Marketplace parking lot.

Artist, Kathryn Ramos, 50, spoke about the mosaic stained glass artwork she created that day.

“It is always a challenge to replicate what is in my head,” Ramos said.

Despite the challenges she faces, she believes her participation gives her a chance to do what she loves to do and shares her art with the community.

She mentioned that she had been participating in Via Arte for only eight years, but has been professionally creating art for 35 years. Ramos also is an acrylic artist, and has her art available online on her website, along with background on the artwork she sells.

Not only were professional and student artists able to get artistic, there was also a section in the parking lot for kids and their families. Families were able to engage in the festivities by choosing from a variety of chalks, and picking their canvas slot on the asphalt.

Lizette Chavez
Matt Spencer (far right) looks on as his daughter, Abby spencer (middle), and Sabrina Noakes (far left) try their hand at chalk art at Via Arte.

This year, Via Arte had 10 award winners under categories such as People’s Choice Award, Best Technique, Best Visiting Artist, Best Use of Color, Best Rendititon and many more.

All the raised proceeds from the event will be going to the Bakersfield Museum of Arts which has helped and been involved in keeping this tradition going in Bakersfield since 1998.