SAN ANTONIO – Artpace’s 18th annual Chalk It Up event will carry on with its festivities this weekend with artists creating numerous murals.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic and current regulations for public events, visitors will only be able to drive by the artwork spread throughout 10 San Antonio Public Library branches.
Artpace’s director, Riley Robinson, said they want to honor the work of this year’s featured artists.
“We wanted to make sure that we worked with the artists and got artists some funding, actually, so that they could work through the pandemic,” Robinson said. “So, we’re paying each of the artists to make these murals.”
Chalk It Up usually draws thousands of visitors each year to East Houston Street downtown, but this year, Artpace had to get creative to protect the safety of artists.
“It’s kind of exciting to see the artists actually work and create,” Robinson said. “(We want visitors to) look out the windows and see these great, great pieces of artwork, which will likely stay in place until the next rain or something.”
Artpace said this year’s theme is about community to remind people that they’re not alone.
A total of 20 artists are featured and tasked with each creating a chalk mural that sticks to the theme.
Artist Cassidy Fritts single handedly painted a mural that hopes to foster curiosity for reading, poetry and exploring personal identities.
“I’m creating a ring of faces, facing each other (that represent) self-reflection,” Fritts said. “I’m also using an excerpt from a poem by Assata Shakur, who is a revolutionary leader that talks about how revolution starts with us, but it ends with the community coming together.”
Fritts' artwork is featured alongside the Central Library downtown. At a safe distance away, featured artist Fernando Andrade worked on his colorful mural Saturday morning.
“I’m (painting) two hands coming together with the text that says ‘unidos’ (which is translated to) united,” Andrade said.
The participating artists hope families are encouraged to support their work as viewing is only allowed through the window of their vehicles.
Saturday’s event wrapped up at 2 p.m., however, viewers will be able to snap a picture of the murals within the next couple of days before they begin to fade.
A map of the locations can be found here.