The annual Forest Grove Chalk Art Festival started in 1991, when Forest Grove’s Valley Art Association sectioned off squares of sidewalk in front of their building for people to buy and fill with chalk art.
The event grew every year in popularity, until eventually numbered medallions were placed in the sidewalk, providing many conveniently labeled squares for artists to draw on.
“You never know exactly how many people are going to be out there drawing,” Pacific University’s Conference and Event Support Services, Roylene Read said.
Although there are now 360 squares with numbers, as many as 600 squares are reserved each year.
“People come and draw whatever they want and we don’t judge the art; all ages and abilities are welcome to come out,” Read said. “We just really want people to try doing art. Some people are very inhibited because they don’t think they’re very artistic, but actually they just come out and have a good time and get dirty with chalk.”
The chalk art will last as long as the weather permits and may provide artistic attraction for the public for weeks after the event.
“We sponsor a couple of high school students every year who are going to go into college to major in art so they get a scholarship for art supplies for two years in a row,” Read said.
Part of the $12 people spend for their square and chalk goes to scholarship money for local high school students.
“It was written up in the Oregonian as one of the best things to do on this weekend,” Read said.
Along with the Chalk Art Festival, there will be free entertainment throughout the day along Main Street as well as the annual Corn Roast at Pacific University put on by the Chamber of Commerce.
The Forest Grove Chalk Art Festival will be held on Saturday, Sept.16 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Willing artists can pre-register for the event at Valley Art Association on Sept.13 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. or on event day.