Chalk the Block (CTB) was not always the big monster that it is now. The event started in 2008 as a one-day sidewalk chalk art competition featuring twelve artists that took place at Arts Festival Plaza. After receiving overwhelming support for the event, organizers from the City of El Paso- Museums & Cultural Affairs Department and the El Paso Community Foundation quickly realized that the event needed to expand to enhance the experience.
Since its inception, CTB has quickly become one of El Paso’s premiere events and the largest FREE three-day public arts festival in the Southwest region drawing over 40, 000 people annually. In 2019, CTB is celebrating 12 years of reimagining downtown El Paso through the power of art while providing an “out of this world” experience for its attendees.
Each year, about 200 local, national and international artists from all disciplines participate at CTB creating a fun, quirky and diverse environment for people of all ages to enjoy. The event features: temporary interactive art installations, live dance and theatrical performances, a sidewalk chalk art competition, live bands, art and food vendors, access to various activities and exhibits at both the El Paso Museum of Art and Museum of History and more!
Each year Chalk the Block hosts local, national and international temporary art installations, live chalk artists, dancers, and performers. Art can be perceived as something that is only viewed in a setting where interaction is not necessarily encouraged. At CTB attendees are engaged all the senses are potentially triggered simultaneously. From large to small scale installations, all CTB art experiences are sure to leave a mark.
Sidewalk Chalk Art Competition
CTB’s sidewalk chalk art competition is the reason why we exist. The competition has gone from 12 chalk artists in 2008 to 50+ artists in 2019. The chalk artists will be working on the Pedestrian Pathway between the convention center and the ballpark.
2019 FEATURED ARTISTS
CREATORS: ESRAWE + CADENA; OWNERS: DTE ENERGY BEACON PARK FOUNDATION AND THE DOWNTOWN DETROIT PARTNERSHIP; FIRST COMMISSIONED BY HIGH MUSEUM OF ARTS, ATLANTA
As a blank canvas for community engagement and programming, Los Trompos drew its inspiration from the form of a spinning top, a popular toy with children around the world. The project features three-dimensional, larger than life tops in a variety of colors and shapes, which will be installed on Cleveland Square Park. The colorful surfaces of each top were created in part by fabric woven in a traditional style by Mexican Artisans.
SQUONK OPERA, PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA
Pneumatica is an event about air, made of air and powered by air. The Squonkers pump up the volume with live original music that permeates the air, while inflatables pump up and immerse the audience.
Figures and tentacles grow, powered by blowers and vortex fans, and culminate in the 40-foot high Lady Pneumatica who incorporates a wind turbine on her head. She blossoms with sails, breathing steam and raising her inflated arms to the sky. Squonk’s music incorporates the swoops and eddies of air with electronic bagpipes and a vertical accordion that is Lady Pneumatica’s lungs, played like a piano while it rises and falls with her breath. Playing with visual puns, air is used to activate costumes – Squonkers inflate like blowfish and musically activate head Acotubes with wild guitar and bass riffs. Be sure to check the schedule for Squonk’s STEAM workshops.
CURATED BY KALAVERA CULTURE SHOP
The Mural Walk is a Chalk the Block favorite. Visitors can stroll through the festival to see artists transform blank walls throughout the footprint into murals.
This year’s muralists are:
- Breeze, Phoenix, Arizona, @breeze1phx
- Ms. Yellow, Los Angeles, California, @msyellowart
- Sour Grapes Collective, Dallas, Texas, @sourgrapescrew
- Christian “Saker” Gonzalez, El Paso, Texas, @saker_tsb
- Christopher “Crez” Hurtado, El Paso, Texas, @crezer1no
- Jose S. Casillas, El Paso, Texas, @j.s.casillas
- Saturnino “Boom” Casillas, El Paso, Texas, @138boom
- Babak Tavokoli, El Paso, Texas, @untappd.babak
Red, White, Blue-Green:
JULIA JAMROZIK AND CORYN KEMPSTER, BUFFALO, NEW YORK
Red, White and Blue-Green, a field of barricade tape that will transform the Arts Festival Plaza into a colorful forest. Barricade tape is typically used to create barriers, but this installation does the opposite by creating an immersive field visitors are encouraged to occupy. Held aloft by balloons and anchored with stones, the tape creates an all-enveloping, maze-like environment, setting the stage for playful interactions: strolling, running, dancing, hide-and-seek, getting lost and photo-bombing selfies.
VARIOUS ARTISTS – EL PASO
At Chalk the Block, El Paso joins the cities around the world in creating the opportunity for impromptu performances with street pianos. MCAD has commissioned local artists to paint four pianos that will be located on the Chalk the Block footprint. The painted pianos bring art and music together by encouraging the community to sit and play.
Pianos have been painted by the following artists:
- Patrick Gabaldon, @gabaldonart
- Christin Apodaca, @christin.m.a
- Eugenia “AO” Carmona, @ao.art.0204
- Christopher Hurtado, @crezer1no