Nov. 16—ALBANY ─ Albany Museum of Art ChalkFest will usher in the holidays Saturday with a day packed with 11 professional chalk artists, steamroller printmaking, glassblowing demonstrations, craft beer tasting, live music, community chalk artists, an activities area for kids and families, food trucks, and more than two-dozen vendors.
"AMA ChalkFest again promises to be an extraordinary day of friendship and fun; there is something for everyone to enjoy," AMA Executive Director Andrew J. Wulf said in a news release. "Plus, the early weather forecasts are promising for pleasant fall temperatures."
Presented by Publix, AMA ChalkFest will again be in downtown Albany, but it has moved from Pine Avenue to the 200 block of South Front Street, adjacent to the Albany Civic Center. Front Street will be closed to traffic, and ample parking will be available at the Civic Center. Musical entertainment will be performed on the James M. Barnett Jr. Foundation Stage in Veterans Park Amphitheatre.
The festival will be 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Early weather forecasts indicate nearly perfect fall festival conditions, with sunny skies and a high of 55-57. Admission is free.
"We view ChalkFest as a celebration of our community," Wulf said. "We are happy that, thanks to our generous sponsors, we again are able to present this festival as a gift to our community with no admission charge. This is another opportunity for the Albany Museum of Art to ensure that there are no barriers to keep anyone from experiencing the art and entertainment of ChalkFest."
The soundtrack for AMA ChalkFest will be provided by DJ Planet X from 10 a.m. to noon, and between band sets. The afternoon will be filled with the vocals of Evan Barber (noon-2 p.m.), followed by BoDean and the Poachers (2:30-4:30 p.m.). The Poachers feature guitarist and singer-songwriter Brandon Fox, bassist Shane Brown, lead guitarist Sebastion "Sky" Shattles, drummer Todd Fox, and vocalist Alanna Fox.
"We're excited about this musical lineup," Wulf said. "It will be a concert within the festival."
The 11 professional chalk artists at the festival will create 49-square-foot or larger chalk images on the pavement of Front Street during the day. The theme for their work is "Heroes," inspired by the exhibition "Fighters for Freedom: William H. Johnson Picturing Justice," which is on view in the AMA's Haley Gallery through Dec. 10. Organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, "Fighters for Freedom" is supported by Art Bridges.
"The professional chalk artists are at the heart of ChalkFest, and they will bring their heroes to life on the pavement," Wulf said. "They also will compete for Best of Show honors. We have two returning champions in the mix this year: Jessi Queen of Atlanta, who will defend her 2021 title, and Heather Cap of Fayetteville, who won at the inaugural ChalkFest in 2018."
Joining Queen and Cap will be Zachary Herndon of Atlanta; Chelsey Scott of Melbourne, Fla.; Fawne DeRosa of Thomaston; Cathryn Bozone of Atlanta; Lata Mary Fields of LaGrange; Brittany Williams of Atlanta; Daniel Foy of Thomaston; Shannon Neumann of Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Shondell McFall of Nashville, Tenn. The winning artist will be announced at 4:30 p.m. from the James M. Barnett Jr. Foundation Stage.
Other art media also will be on display. Chris Johnson, an art professor at Andrew College in Cuthbert, who is well-known for his bigger-than-life murals in Albany and other cities in the South, will use a steamroller to make prints on T-shirts and other materials.
Art students from Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus will demonstrate glass-blowing art skills throughout the day.
"Kids' T-shirts, which will include ones made with this year's ChalkFest mascot created by artist Ramiro Davaro-Comas of New York, and glass items that the GSW students made before ChalkFest, will be available for purchase," AMA Director of Education and Public Programming Annie Vantogehem said. "Festival-goers also can buy T-shirts for Chris to imprint with his steamroller, including a woodblock created with Ramiro's mascot."
Festivalgoers also will be able to see homegrown talent. Thirty local individuals and teams from schools and organizations have signed up to show off their chalk art skills in the community artists' area sponsored by Edward Jones.
Kids also will be able to get into the chalk art action. Each child who enters the ChalkFest festival grounds will be given small packs of sidewalk chalk, courtesy of WebstaurantStore.
While watching the artists create, festivalgoers can get food and refreshments from food trucks that will be stationed around the ChalkFest grounds. They also can browse art and other items that will be available at more than two dozen vendor tents.
Those who are 21 or older may purchase a wristband for unlimited tastings of craft beers and libations from noon-5 p.m. The wristbands are $30 for AMA members or $35 for non-members and may be purchased at the ChalkFest Store tent.
Brands that will be available for tastings, and some of the varieties they will have available, include:
—Beatbox of Austin, Texas, which will feature its Cranberry Dreams, Watermelon Punch, and Peach Punch;
—Folklore Brewing & Meadery of Dothan, Ala.;
—Leinenkugel's, featuring its Sunset Wheat;
—Monday Night Brewing of Atlanta;
—Pretoria Fields Brewery of Albany;
—Shiner of Shiner, Texas, which will feature its Bock, Bruja, and Cheer;
—Terrapin Beer Co. of Athens, which will feature its Moo-Hoo, Depth Perception, and High and Hazy;
—Wild Leap Brewery of LaGrange.
Meanwhile, kids and families can enjoy the AMAzing Activities area, which again is sponsored by VineVision. It will be located just past the community artists' area.
"Our friends at the Artesian Alliance will be back with their animal and bird demonstrations, which are always a favorite for kids and adults alike," Vanoteghem said. "Those are scheduled for 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.
"All day, our AMA Teen Art Board members will have tents where they will help kids tie-dye T-shirts, engage in an art project, and get their face painted. We also will have a giant bounce house for kids to jump in, and we will bring the Big Blue Blocks from the AMA that are always popular."
AMA ChalkFest sponsors are presenting sponsor Publix, presenting sponsor the James M. Barnett Jr. Foundation, Yancey Rents, WebstaurantStore, Vine Vision, Bridge Import Group, Synovus, Edward Jones, Fleming & Riles Insurance, Phoebe, Georgia Community Bank, Adams Exterminators, F&W Forestry, Bishop Clean Care, Albany Internal Medicine, Flint Community Bank, JLA, J&J, Smile Doctors and AB&T.
Partnering with the AMA are the Flint River Entertainment Complex, Albany Beverage Company, Beverage South-Albany, AAA Concrete, Pretoria Fields, the Artesian Alliance, WALB, The Albany Herald, Retro FM 102.1, Southwest Georgia Living, Eddie's Signs, and Downtown Albany.
"Without these wonderful sponsors and partners — and those who volunteer their time — AMA ChalkFest would not be possible," Wulf said. "We are fortunate that there are community-minded businesses and organizations who are willing to support the massive effort that is required to bring this Saturday of art, music, activities, and enjoyment to the community."
Because museum staff will be working at AMA ChalkFest, the Albany Museum of Art will be closed on Saturday. The museum will re-open to the public on Tuesday.