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Local artists are encouraged to sign up for ChalkFest 2021, which is scheduled as a live event on Nov. 13.

ALBANY — Albany Museum of Art ChalkFest on Nov. 13 will be a communitywide event, and the call is out for community artists of all ages to participate in five amateur chalk artist categories.

“The big news this year is there are absolutely no fees to participate,” AMA Director of Education and Public Programming Annie Vanoteghem said. “Thanks to our Amateur and School Chalk Blocks sponsor Smile Doctors, there is no cost to enter any of the five amateur categories: adult, adult students, teens, youth and school teams.”

AMA ChalkFest, which was conducted on a virtual basis last year because of the COVID pandemic, will return to the 100 block of Pine Avenue from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Nov. 13. The festival, which has the theme “Masterpieces” this year, includes chalk works by professional artists, live music and entertainment, craft beer tastings, food trucks and vendors.

The 100 block of Pine Avenue will be closed off while professional and amateur chalk artists create works of chalk art directly on the pavement. The last in-person AMA ChalkFest in 2019 drew a crowd of more than 4,000 people. For the first time, there will be no gate charge for admission to the festival.

“The deadline to apply for one of the community art spaces is 5 p.m. on Nov. 1, provided there is still space available,” Vanoteghem said. “Applications may be found at www.amachalkfest.com/community-artists. There also is a link to that webpage from the AMA website, www.albanymuseum.com. Space is assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, and we have a limited number of blocks available. So get your application in as soon as possible.”

Completed applications should be emailed to annie.vanoteghem@albanymuseum.com.

AMA Executive Director Andrew J. Wulf said the local artists who participate each year ensure that AMA ChalkFest is always a community-rich event.

“The Albany Museum of Art lives to serve the Albany community and its visitors,” Wulf said. “We are over the moon to be able to return to downtown and host this special event, open for all to enjoy. This creative event also serves as a reminder that the AMA is making progress in our future move to Broad Avenue in the downtown area in the next few years. We love Albany, and this ChalkFest is a big thank you to all its residents who continue to stay creative, courageous, and caring.”

Those participating in the adult, adult student and school team categories will work on 5-foot-by-5-foot squares. The individual participants each will receive a 24-color pack of chalk, while each team will receive a 48-color pack.

Teens (ages 13-17) will each have a 4-foot-by-4-foot chalking space, and youths (ages 6-12) will work on spaces that are 3 feet by 3 feet. Those participating in these two categories each will receive a 24-color chalk pack.

A first-place winner will be selected in each of the five categories.

The professional chalk artists are being asked to recreate masterpieces from the Renaissance and Baroque periods in connection with “European Splendors: Old Master Paintings from the Kress Collection,” which is currently on exhibition in the Haley Gallery at the Albany Museum of Art. The exhibition of 29 paintings is organized by the Columbia Museum of Art in South Carolina with support from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. The exhibition at the AMA was made possible through the support of the Walter and Frances Bunzl Family Foundation. The exhibition continues through Dec. 23.

While amateur artists are strongly encouraged to incorporate the Masterpieces theme in their artwork, it is not required.

“Every year we have remarkable work created by members of our community,” Vanoteghem said. “We can’t wait to see what they create this year at AMA ChalkFest.”

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