Going to the Cleveland Chalk Festival

Sorry, warning in advance, this post is basically one large and beautiful photo dump.

When I was in Cleveland, I had the privilege of attending the chalk festival outside the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Apparently it started in 1990 (I vaguely remember going once or twice as a kid), and its presented as a modern take on a 16th century Renaissance tradition from Italy, where beggars would recreate paintings of the Madonna by Raphael and his contemporaries using chalk on the plazas outside cathedrals. 

This chalk festival takes place every year in September, along the stone walkway behind the art museum, going down to the lake. Officially it costs 20 dollars to participate, and you get a stone square and a set of chalk with which to make your art, but people often just bring their own chalk and draw next to the lake for free. Or you can just come to admire the art that people are making, entirely for free.

Unlike in the Renaissance, there wasn't much by way of religious art. There were, however, some copies of famous artwork, as well as lots and lots of fandom related artwork. And then just some very creative ideas entirely from people's imaginations.

There were a few featured artists who had giant pieces of chalk art, but there was just so much beauty there that I snapped so many pictures, and picked some of the best to share with you.

Cleveland spirit!

I loved this attempt at the Mona Lisa.

This was one of the drawings by a featured artist.

Something about this one spoke to me.

This looks just ready to hop off the sidewalk and fly away.

Harry Potter!

Not sure what this one was supposed to be, but I liked it.

This was fascinating and gorgeous and I wanted to know its story.

Loved this peacock.

Penguin love!

Stunning artwork!

I love birds!

So lifelike!

I'm not sure what anime this one is from, but I'm pretty sure its famous.

This was by a featured artist.

Dory! Squirt!!!!! I love Finding Nemo!

Some cool stuff.

Very creative and imaginative.

I took this photo for my friends kids who love PJ Masks.

This amused me. Read the text.

Doctor Who's TARDIS! And more peacock!

Not sure what this was about, but I thought it cool.

Micky and Minnie!

I love this fairy depiction!

This one amused me.


I liked this recreation of Van Gogh's Sunflowers.

Awesome bug here!

More nice stuff.

Good artwork!

Nice and fandomy.

Awesome fantasy!

I loved the message here and this new superhero, Science.

More Pokemon and something else that caught my eye.

Amazing bee!

Alien? Devil? Not sure? Still cool.

I loved this praying mantis.

This was just stunning.

Cool octopus.

Edward Scissorhands. I think.

Powerpuff girls!

Another featured artist.

A kid mid drawing.

Pooh! And Eeyore! And Tigger! And Piglet!

Another TARDIS!

Gorgeous fish!

I love this Einstein!


Not sure what this means, but it got my attention.

This skull was amazing.

Awesome snake.

Marvin the Martian.

More beauty.

An artist at work.

Gorgeous imagery!

The butterfly looks about ready to take off!

Not sure who this character is but cool.

We weren't sure if we'd be able to come see this, since we were pressed for time, especially since it was after we went canoeing at Camp Hi and then went to Nelson's Ledges, but I'm so glad we found the time, since it was amazing to come and see so many people celebrating art, and seeing how many fabulous artists we have living in Cleveland.

Does your city have a chalk festival? Tell us about it!

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal

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