Family / Fine Art & Culture

Sidewalk Painting and Plein Air Festival in Old Town this weekend.

As part of the Summerfest 2010 activites the city is sponsoring it’s annual sidewalk painting in Old Town Temecula this weekend. Skill levels run the gauntlet from children’s doodles to serious multi-day works of art from professional artists. Simaltaneously is the Ralph Love Plein Air Festival featuring artists painting at various locations throughout Old Town. Entry to both events is free and open to all.

June 25-27, 2010, 10:00am to 5:00pm in Old Town!

Street Painting Festival

At the Old Town Temecula Street Painting Festival  spectators can jump right in by painting their own work of art and it’s free!

Over 100 muralists and visual artists create giant pastel murals. Families, children, and beginners join in the creative endeavor in the family section where more than 500 smaller squares are blocked out for spectators to paint with pastels on the asphalt canvas.

“What is so unique about our Festival is the free pastel chalk provided families and children. Any spectator can explore performance art with artist’ pastels instead of sidewalk chalk,” stated Melody Brunsting the event coordinator.
Typical sidewalk chalk has less color pigment and is usually less vivid. Artist pastels have richer colors and a wider color palette, aiding the color and depth of the giant murals. Many of the murals are 10 feet wide and 12 feet high. All murals are painted on asphalt giving strong contrast to the pastels.

Techniques for completing the task on time vary. Some artists will mix the chalk with water and spray or brush the backgrounds. Others spread and blend using pieces of carpet. By 3 p.m. on Sunday muralists and master painters will have recreated old masters paintings, originals and modern art in a unique performance art experience.
Street Painting awards are given on Sunday at 3:30 after the last mural is completed. Professional artists from cities throughout Southern California paint many of the estimated 300 murals on the asphalt of Old Town Temecula’s streets.
A cash prize is award the Best of Show, an award chosen by the participating artists. Each year the Best of Show winner is also invited back to the festival as the “featured artist.”  Additional awards go to the best newcomer and best youth. Spectators vote for the people’s choice award.

The Street Painting Festival coincides with the Ralph Love Plein Air Festival.    Plein Air simply means that the artist paints the scene on location – outdoors. These artists will paint on small canvases and vie for the purchase award honoring the Best of Show.

Ralph Love Plein Air Festival

The Ralph Love Plein Air Festival started three years ago and offers a $500 purchase award from the City of Temecula. An event within the event, Plein Air artists paint on location on canvas.

Plein Air Artists will scatter throughout Old Town in search of the perfect scene depicting the historic town. The event was named after Ralph Love. For many years, Ralph Love taught as well as painted. His students were made up of avid artists throughout Southern California, and their classroom was the wide-open spaces. On rainy days, the class would meet in the old Art Shack in Temecula, California, which Love opened in the mid-fifties. It was from this Art Shack that his work received national recognition. The courtyard at Old Town Front Street Bar & Grill is now known as the Love Courtyard.

There is no fee for either Festival. Children and families are provided free pastel chalk and a place to try their creative hand at street painting. Classic Rock tunes from the Two of Us will entertain Friday evening. Flamenco guitar by Javid and Maoko provide a Latin and world music backdrop on Saturday. Sunday live Big Band tunes by the Valley Winds will close out the Festivals. A Plein Air Art Auction is held Sunday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Applications for both Plein Air artists and Street Painters are available at or by calling (951) 678-1456.

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