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First Chalk Festival Held In Reston

Art event showcases local talent at Lake Anne Plaza.

Belmin Rivera, a 2011 graduate of Reston South Lakes high school works on  his chalk mural on Saturday at Lake Anne Plaza for the June chalk festival.

Belmin Rivera, a 2011 graduate of Reston South Lakes high school works on his chalk mural on Saturday at Lake Anne Plaza for the June chalk festival. Photo by Ryan Dunn.

Reston’s Lake Anne Plaza hosted its first ever chalk festival titled Chalk on the Water, the weekend of June 7-8. Individuals of all ages were welcomed to let their inner artist shine through and turn Lake Anne Plaza into a chalk art gallery. The event lasted two days, and on Sunday six judges awarded prizes to contestants.

There were three categories for persons to participate in each with cash and prizes awarded in each category. Approximately 110 chalk artists participated in this event. In the professional artist section first place prize was won by Erica Fallin, second place won by Penny Hauffe, and third by Milagros Pongo. In the junior/senior high school section, first prize was won by Clara Brownback, second place by Hanna Wilson Black, and third place by Jordon Ismaiel. In the elementary school section, first place prize was won by both Laura Smith and Megan Wennet.

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The chalk mural of Penny Hauffe. Hauffe won second place prize in the professional artist category for her work in the 2014 chalk festival at Lake Anne Plaza.

PARTICIPANTS had two days to complete their work. “My girlfriend signed me up and I got thrust into this,” said Belmin Rivera, a 2011 graduate of Reston South Lakes high school. Rivera began his chalk project on Saturday, creating a scene with figures from Japanese mythology. Janet Zhou, a resident of Reston for more than 10 years, drew a scene with two swans creating a heart. “I just really want to show I love Reston,” said Zhou. Also participating in the event were members of local art groups. “Lake Anne is my favorite spot in Reston,” said Antonella Manganelli, a resident of Reston and member of the League of Reston Artists.

“We hope to do this event again,” said IPAR Executive Director Anne Delaney. “We have been getting a tremendous response from participants…I think there will be even more participation next year.” Lake Anne partnered with renowned Murals of Baltimore to execute the event. Murals of Baltimore has specialized in all forms of mural painting and public art such as fresco, plastering, decorative, faux, mosaics, sculpture, and street painting known as “chalk art.”

Murals of Baltimore founder Michael William Kirby is a renowned artist who specializes in street art paintings for over 20 years and is contracted nationally and internationally by various government agencies, companies, nonprofits, public and private agencies for decorative street works.

DURING THE FESTIVAL, Kirby created a commissioned piece titled “Reston Through Time” which celebrates Reston’s history and honors its 50th Anniversary. Lake Anne hosted a free chalk workshop on Saturday, May 31 prior to the festival.

Lake Anne collaborated with Initiative for Public Art-Reston (IPAR) to bring this public art themed event to the plaza. IPAR imagines public art throughout Reston that inspires the community and engages the mind and senses. Funds raised from the festival were donated to IPAR. Festival goers could purchase a “plot” of brick space on the plaza and paint whatever flows from their imagination. Approximately 100 spaces/plots were available for this event.

“I think the event is great for Lake Anne,” said Susan Cawthra, an employee of the Reston Museum and resident of Reston. “It is wonderful to see new activity on the plaza.” The chalk festival was sponsored by the Friends of Lake Anne (FOLA) and the Reston Art Gallery. For more information visit www.chalkonthewater.com.