Chalk Art Festival brought out the festival in art


Westgate Entertainment District held their sixth annual Chalk Art Festival on April 28. People enjoying the dining and shopping also had the chance to view the creation of art between 11 a.m.-5 p.m. These artists hailed from Phoenix, Tucson and around the state. The event was presented by the Arizona Business Committee, a program of the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance (SAACA).

Shelby Scheer was the operations manager. She said that SAACA is a nonprofit organization that supports the arts and culture in Southern Arizona. They have been doing that for over 15 years.

The festival included an area where people could create their own masterpieces. Winta Ruesom is a sophomore at Moon Valley High School. She was one of the many visitors participating in the Community Mural and KidZone. In addition to chalk, she had also worked with pencil, acrylic and charcoal.

When asked where she gets her inspiration, she said, “Draw whatever you feel.”

Moon Valley student Winta Ruesom placing together her own masterpiece at the KidZone. (Glendale)

The Chalk Art Festival organized a walking path for people to see in action eight artists. They had their own spots for their supplies and canvas. The canopies housing them were located all throughout the shopping center. They needed to submit a proposed design. The theme was multicultural.

Local artist Drake Pillsbury was one of the featured artist. She is a fulltime teacher for Art and English for fifth grade. She is big on layering.

She said, “[Chalk festivals] allow me to get out and make art for herself.”

Drake Pillsbury, local artist and fulltime teacher, adding layers to her work. (Glendale)

Carolyn Watson Dubisch, another local artist, had done chalk festivals a few years. Picking a painting of hers that was international, she featured the Egyptian god Bast. She had resided in Morocco for an art residency program. She said that likes to travel, and chalk festivals help her do that. Her 16-year-old daughter, Phoebe Dubisch, also helps with her projects.

Artist Carolyn Watson Dubisch and her daughter Phoebe Dubisch spend time together as they create art. (Glendale)

Jose Ignacio Garcia is a Tucson artist who does murals for a living. His selected work featured a horned lizard. These creatures squirt blood from their eyes as a defense mechanism. He said that he wanted something random and unexpected. He has been a part of chalk festivals held in Desert Ridge Marketplace and Tempe Marketplace.

Tucson artist Jose Ignacio Garcia adds color around his subject’s eye. (Glendale)

At the end of the event, people had a chance to vote online and bid for the completed eight-foot canvas. Voting was opened until May 2. To see the finished work, check out

SAACA next plans to host the KABLOOM! Flower Bomb Festival at Westgate Entertainment District. Shelby Scheer said the event is a paper flower festival that draws inspiration from paper festivals held in Portugal. This will bring out the spring and floral motifs. That will be held on May 19 from 12-2 p.m.

To see more information, check out

Westgate Entertainment District is on 6751 N. Sunset Blvd. Glendale, AZ 85305. The shopping center is located at the Loop 101 & Glendale Ave. The district is opened Monday–Saturday from 11a.m.– 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m.– 6 p.m. Individual shops and restaurants hours may vary.

Be sure to visit for year-round fun.