Artists use asphalt as canvas at ‘Kayenta Street Painting Festival’

IVINS — Asphalt in the Kayenta community of Ivins was transformed into a unique canvas Saturday for the seventh annual “Kayenta Street Painting Festival” presented by the Kayenta Arts Foundation. Saturday was the first of the two-day festival which continues Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A colorful street mural of “The Incredible Hulk” takes shape during the Kayenta Street Painting Festival, Ivins, Utah, April 29, 2017 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

Student and professional artists gathered at the Kayenta Art Village to create colorful chalk murals early Saturday morning.

Each artist or group of artists was assigned a square of asphalt where they were able to come up with a design and execute that design on a large-scale with chalk.

The making of a street painting isn’t always easy. Creating an appealing design on such a grand scale can be messy at best and frustrating at worst.

Artist Stephanie Long who has been participating in the annual festival since its inception said that there is always a point during the creation when the drawing looks like crap.

“You just have to trust the process,” Long said, “and eventually everything comes together.”

The festival attracts renowned artists both from the area and across the country. One such artist is internationally recognized muralist Anat Ronen.

Ronen is based in Houston but has already made her mark on the Kayenta Art Village, creating the gila monster mural that can be seen on the walls near the outdoor theater in the village.

Ronen returned this year to create a new mural of a jack rabbit on one of the village’s pillars.

The festival also provides an opportunity for budding student artists to create a piece and compete against their peers.

Student artist Paxton Gibson helps create a street painting during the Kayenta Street Painting Festival held at the Kayenta Art Village, Ivins, Utah, April 29, 2017 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

Students have one day to complete their mural which gets judged by a panel and prizes are awarded.

Though the competition is tough, for student artist Nathon Gordon it is really all about enjoying the artistry.

“I am just having fun chilling and doing some art with my friends,” Gordon said.

For the even younger generation the festival has a designated area where for $5 kids can get their own set of artist-quality chalk and a square of asphalt to make their own creation.

The Kayenta Street Painting Festival benefits the Kayenta Arts Foundation in its efforts to bring all facets of art together in a beautiful setting. In January the foundation celebrated the completion of the construction phase of their new “Center for the Arts at Kayenta,” an 11,000-square-foot facility which houses space for both visual and performance art.

The center is a place that will offer a unique and eclectic array of art for everyone to enjoy, said Jan Broberg, the center’s executive director.

A colorful street mural takes shape during the Kayenta Street Painting Festival, Ivins, Utah, April 29, 2017 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

It is seen as an important space for bringing an increasingly diverse Southern Utah population together.

“I think art is the common ground,” Broberg said. “No matter where you come from or what your background is, art is what really unites us.”

The Kayenta Street Painting Festival continues Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition to chalk art the festival includes multiple food vendors, tours of the new center for the arts and live entertainment.

The festival is free to attend but vendor offerings vary.

“To come up here and see these artists at work is thrilling,” Broberg said. “To see them start with a piece of asphalt and a picture that they have designed and created and then to see it come to life with chalk, it’s incredible. It really is so inspiring.”

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Event details

  • What: Kayenta Street Painting Festival
  • When: Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Where: Kayenta Art Village, 800 Kayenta Parkway, Ivins
  • Cost: Free; vendors vary

Email: hreina@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • desertgirl April 30, 2017 at 8:44 am

    Amazing talented people!

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