On Sunday I headed out to Chalk the Block 2013 to get the boys out of the house for a few hours. Because of the construction in San Jacinto Plaza, the event was moved from the park to the area outside the Convention Center and down the way on Franklin street by the Museum of History.
There were also a bunch of pop-up galleries open for the event and from where we parked we were able to view a few along our walk.
Despite the disjointed nature, due to the construction, it was well attended and there was plenty of great works on display:
As we wound our way around, we were able to view some of the new artistic fencing that replaces the old chain link over the railroad bridges. The El Paso Public Art Program commissioned different artists to create replacement fencing, adding some much needed character to the bridges where the railroad snakes under downtown.
As in the past, the event is also host to lots of alternative art performances and kinetic sculptures by artists from around the USA. You can really spend the whole day and night with musical performances and local food trucks keeping your body and mind fed. After a couple of hours it was time for us to fly home:
This weekend downtown El Paso held the 4th annual Chalk the Block event. The organizers bring together artists, artist teams and other performers for a free event that turns the sidewalks around the plaza and museum into temporary art installations. With the recent removal of the fences around San Jacinto Plaza the downtown park makes for a great place for artists to create chalk and pastel works on the concrete.
Big Red Heart
We arrived early Saturday morning so many of the artists were still working on their pieces. There was still a bunch of other things to see as we wandered around. Poetic Kinetics was on hand displaying one of their Holding Flame sculptures:
Jack was mesmerized by it but Shaun was a little afraid. The flame visuals created by the burner at the top really can hypnotize you. The heat kicked by the flames keeps you mindful of the danger overhead but the distance keeps you safe. Fiat of El Paso was also using this a showcase event for their just launched 500, with artists creating works around and on the spry little hatch.
There was a large selection of food trucks on hand hawking all sorts of nacho-churro-relleno-on-a-stick concoctions. We opted for a stop at Kipps Cheesesteaks for their awesome hot sandwiches.
Eat at Kipps!
I guess no outdoor event is complete without some sort of protests. The Occupy Wallstreet protests that are currently sweeping the globe have even spawned a local group who were standing out in front of the Cortez Building. They had wanted the center of the Plaza but were supplanted by the arts this weekend. Go Arts!
Main street had been turned into an informal gallery space with several booths set up and artists displaying their wares. Local El Paso artists David “Grave” Herrera and Mitsu Overstreet of “Border Youth” were on hand laying down some paint on a Sun Metro bus:
Grave’s Border Youth
The kids were about done at this point and we had seen everything that was worth checking out. This years event was well organized and looks to be something that will continue and only get better. My full Flickr set can be viewed here: Chalk the Block