Arts and Entertainment

Chalk Art Festival takes ‘think local, buy local’ theme

A young artist joins in the fun last year during the Langley Sidewalk Chalk Art Festival. The fourth annual chalk fest is Tuesday, May 19.   - Brian Kelly / Record file
A young artist joins in the fun last year during the Langley Sidewalk Chalk Art Festival. The fourth annual chalk fest is Tuesday, May 19.
— image credit: Brian Kelly / Record file

The sidewalk is everyone’s oyster next week.

Get out your knee pads and sharpen your creative spirit, it’s time for the fourth annual Langley Sidewalk Chalk Art Festival from noon to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 19.

The theme this year is “Think Local, Buy Local.”

Each year, people of all ages kneel, sit and lay along the curbs of downtown Langley with hunks of fat, brightly-colored chalk to create mandalas on a theme.

A mandala is a concentric diagram that has spiritual and ritual significance in various religions of the world. Indeed, the significance of their circular shapes have inspired their use as an artistic symbol of connectedness throughout world cultures.

The folks who organize the festival encourage artists to combine that symbolism with the local theme.

This year’s theme forwards the idea that, in these times of economic, ecological and cultural shifts, thinking about boosting the local community through service and supporting local merchants is a positive step toward recovery from hardship.

The staff at city hall is game to advance that theme with several mandalas.

The city of Langley has reserved 10 squares in front of city hall. See what creative magic the mayor of Langley can add to the local sidewalks.

If the mayor can’t inspire you, go online for inspiration.

Particpants can visit www.mandalaproject.org for examples of mandalas that take such themes as B’hai, Buddhist, diversity, dreams, gnostic, geometry, friends, healing, Hindu, nature, Native American, peace, truth, beauty or goodness.

Langley Middle School art teacher Linda Racicot has been taking sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders to the Chalk Art Festival for the past several years.

Students who are interested in participating must apply with Racicot, and then a meeting is held to talk about designs and pre-planning.

“I give them a piece of paper with a circle. They create designs and we talk about the medium,” Racicot said.

Because the students have planned ahead, Racicot said they are very focused and put their time on the curb to good use.

“After, we walk around and look at all the designs before heading back to school. It generates a lot of interest with the public who enjoy seeing the kids. And the kids love going, it’s really fun,” she added.

Organizers recommend that chalk artists bring a simple, pre-planned design because the chalk is very fat.

Check-in at Island Coffeehouse & Books at 11:30 a.m. to pick up some chalk and a square location.

Alternate dates in the event of rain are the same time on Wednesday, May 20 and Thursday, May 21.

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