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Art Meets Asphalt: Pasadena’s 30th Chalk Festival Transforms Mundane Pavement Into Masterpieces

The Pasadena Chalk Festival is live and in person at the Plaza of the Pasadena Convention Center on Saturday and Sunday
Published on Jun 17, 2023

2022 Best Rendition of a Masterpiece created by TEAM GUS MORAN. Chalk on pavement. [Photo by Brian Biery]

The heart of the City of Roses prepares to throb with the pulse of creativity Saturday and Sunday as Convention Center’s Plaza becomes the sprawling canvas for the 30th Annual Pasadena Chalk Festival.

Over 500 artists will create around 200 chalk murals from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 300 East Green Street.

Prepare to immerse yourself in a riot of hues — passionate reds and cool blues, hopeful greens and profound purples, all splashed against the city’s monochrome tableau. As the chalk enlivens the pavement, dreamy apparitions will rise, creations born of nothing more than grit, pigment, and pure imagination.

Artist Joe Flowers with a recent masterpiece. [Courtesy photo]

Among the talented artists is returning (and past winner) Joe Flowers.

This will be his seventh year as part of the Chalk Festival.

Flowers said he and his friends usually work on chalk murals that evoke memories.

“When you put something down on the pavement and the public really reacts to it well, that’s what we really like. So we try to get the nostalgia factor.” 

“We try and get something where they’re going to see it and it’ll evoke good memories from their childhoods or just the good memories of times from before. So we’ve really tried to focus our subject matter on things like that.”

Flowers said because of the chalk festival, he has learned new techniques and has become friends with other artists. 

Over the years, he has seen artists joining the festival “become more like a family.”

“We’re trying to pass it on to some of the new artists now, just trying to show them some of the new tips and tricks of just things that they can do at the Chalk Festival.”

Flowers is looking forward to seeing artists and art lovers at the festival.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing all my friends that I’ve been able to see for the last six, seven years now. Just seeing some of the same familiar faces, seeing new and creative things that they’ve come up with, seeing all the colorful artwork that people are going to produce.”

“[I’m] also looking forward to seeing the public and seeing how they react to it, and especially in this new venue, how that’s going to go.”

Just like Flowers, artist Henry Casas also spoke about camaraderie that was built among artists through the festival.

“I no longer see it as a competition but a reunion of friends,” he said.  “Everyone is always more than willing to talk to you about their art and the techniques they use to make it.”

Casas said being able to do what he loves to do around the people he loves is rewarding. 

“I feel like I’m a winner even if my piece doesn’t win because I have the opportunity to be there doing what I love to do with my family, friends and visitors.”

Aside from the 200 chalk murals, the festival also features Art Gallery & Silent Auction, Live DeeJay, Concessions, and a Beer Garden.

For more information about the upcoming event visit:

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