More murals to be installed in Berkley during Street Art Fest

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published July 1, 2019

 Kim Young won the adult category of last year’s chalk art contest at the Berkley Street Art Fest with this drawing of a sunflower patch.

Kim Young won the adult category of last year’s chalk art contest at the Berkley Street Art Fest with this drawing of a sunflower patch.

Photo provided by Kim Young

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BERKLEY — Chalk will fill the streets of downtown Berkley once again, as the city’s annual Street Art Fest is approaching.

The third annual Berkley Street Art Fest, presented by the Berkley Area Chamber of Commerce, will take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 13, primarily on Coolidge Highway between Catalpa Drive and Wiltshire Road.

For this year’s event, Chamber Events and Operations Manager RoseAnn Nicolai highlighted how more murals and permanent art will be installed in downtown Berkley.

During the first Street Art Fest in 2017, nine murals were created on businesses around the city. Last year, only one was installed.

Nicolai said they made an effort this year to have more murals brought to the downtown. They will be located at Folio, 2838 Coolidge Highway; The Wedding Shoppe, 2186 Coolidge Highway; and The Neighbor’s Shoppe, 2833 12 Mile Road.

“Our inaugural year, we had a lot of businesses come forward and they were throughout the whole city,” she said. “We were trying to ... get businesses to have a mural. So we are excited that it’s more than one this year.”

In addition to the murals, artist David Zinn will be creating permanent art on the Berkley Public Library, 3155 Coolidge Highway, and at Balanced Health and Wellness, 2770 Coolidge Highway. The artwork will not be full-sized murals.

“People really liked (Zinn’s) chalk artwork and we’re really excited that he’s going to have a ... little permanent artwork on buildings too,” Nicolai said.

“He finds special, unique items about the building, and then he builds a character around them,” she continued. “It won’t be huge, but it’ll be permanent.”

Along with the usual festival attractions, such as live music and food vendors, the highlight of the Street Art Fest is its chalk art contest, where people can compete to win cash prizes by creating an art piece in a 5-by-5-foot square.

Artists can register in teams or by themselves at www.berkleystree tartfest.com/chalkart. The registration fee ranges from $15 to $30 for the three different categories: youth, which is ages 12-17; adult, which is ages 18 and older; and teams or families, which is a maximum of four people.

Kim Young, of Royal Oak, won last year’s adult category for the chalk art contest. She drew a sunflower patch from a photo that she had taken at a farm in Elk Rapids.

“It was amazing. I was so excited,” she said. “I didn’t expect to win. I really just did my best, and for me, the most fun was just being out. Berkley’s such a great community, and so just seeing everyone support each other … everybody was super supportive and it was awesome.”

Young said she almost second-guessed herself and was going to skip the contest, but she ended up competing anyway. She ran out of chalk at one point while finishing her sunflower, but her friends were able to buy more, as well as run to their homes to get their own.

“I have never done chalk art in that way before,” she said. “It turned out great. … The process was really a learning one. It’s much more complicated than people think to saturate the color, to get the scale right.”

Other activities during the Street Art Fest will include professional cartoonist Jef Mallett, creator of the comic strip “Frazz,” drawing and taking questions on being a cartoonist; people creating a stabile at the Detroit Institute of Arts drop-in workshop; and the Whiski Kitchen/Detroit Build Children’s tent room for younger kids to create their own chalk art.

There also will be sidewalk sales and activities at businesses along Coolidge. Children can create food art at Balanced Health and Wellness, and play in a bounce house at Nova Chiropractic. The Vitrine Gallery & Gifts will have a Rubik’s Cube competition and have a giant Rubik’s Cube to solve.

Attendees also are invited to judge the People’s Choice Award for chalk art from 3 to 4 p.m.

For more information on the Street Art Fest, visit www.berkleystreetartfest.com.

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