Artists brighten downtown
People lined the streets of downtown Fredericksburg this past weekend as artists of all ages took their art to the streets. The looming possibility of rain could not stop Via Colori, the third Annual Street Chalk Festival. Nothing could dampen the spirits of the participating artists who came from all over.
Tourists and University of Mary Washington families alike were drawn to the artists, vendors and bands performing. Members of the community sponsored each of the sections of sidewalk available to be drawn in. Local sponsors included the Free Lance-Star, Spotsylvania Medical Center and the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center.
Among the participants were students from UMW’s Design Principles class. Ten students worked in shifts of two hours each to complete a chalk drawing based on a photograph taken by a student that displayed a Monet painting in the foreground.
“We took a modern picture and imposed it on a historical painting to add more color,” said Jon McMillan, assistant professor of ceramics.
McMillan assisted the class in the production of the piece, which took two days to complete.
“We had a wonderful set of Mary Washington artists and volunteers this year,” said Mary Garrett, the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center’s visitor center manager. “We always have great experiences with students from the university”
Despite the Saturday afternoon rain, most of the pieces were completed. The artists involved worked tirelessly over the two days, even the participants who were as young as three years.
Each year, the proceeds from the festival benefit a non-profit organization in the community. This year, the festival benefitted the Fredericksburg Area Museum & Cultural Center. All proceeds went to further the Museum’s mission and programming.
“I really think Via Colori is cool because more and more people are getting involved,” McMillian said. “I get my students involved because it is a great way to bridge the gap between the community and the University. The students get a lot out of it and it fits into the service learning of Mary Washington.”