Thursday, October 02, 2008

La Strada dell'Arte and the Las Vegas Festival Season

As soon as the weather even thinks about cooling off, the Las Vegas festival season begins. One of my favorite festivals, La Strada dell’Arte, was held September 27 and 28. This festival features art done with chalk on the sidewalks, and what these artists do is simply incredible—as you can see by these pictures. This year the juried offerings seemed scarcer than in prior years, but the amateur/impromptu artists looked pretty organized. A smart bunch of folks brought umbrellas, and it looked like groups of people staked out positions along the only shaded portion of sidewalk in the park. Admission was free; a bag of chalk and kneepad along with one chalk art square cost $5 (but were truly priceless). In addition to looking at the sidewalk art and the extensive arts and crafts show, we watched a demonstration of ice sculpting, which looked like whittling ice with a chain saw. Incredible. When the Cordon Bleu chef was done with his sculpture, the human statues took their positions. I felt bad for them because it was humid and about 90°. I couldn’t imagine standing in the full sun with all those layers of clothing draped over me… which explains, of course, why I’m a writer and not a living statue.

Next weekend, the grand-daddy of all Las Vegas art festivals hits Boulder City: the venerable Art in the Park. Held in three beautiful downtown Boulder City parks, all of which come complete with mature trees and cool shade, you can spend most of your day there. Admission is free. I recommend parking in the outlying lots and taking the shuttle, which is just a few dollars; follow the signs once you arrive at the outskirts of town.

Keep your eyes peeled for these types of events throughout the fall--pick up a copy of City Life, Las Vegas Weekly, or check the Neon Insert in the Friday edition of the RJ/Sun.

You can read the Las Vegas Sun’s article on La Strada dell’Arte at:
Photo Information, top to botton, of my pictures on Sunday at the Sidewalk Chalk Art Festival: Both professionals and amateurs showed off their talents with chalk and cement; the finished ice sculpture; human statues.

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