Event to raise funds for medical needs
By Jessica Tuggle
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY - A chalk art festival is coming to Indian River County, but it won't be a casual sidewalk chalk party.
The Cultural Council of Indian River County is sending out a call for artists for the first professional chalk art festival in Indian River County, featuring Palm Beach-based chalk artist Jennifer Chaparro.
The chalk art festival is scheduled for Nov. 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Indian River Mall parking lot, said Steve Dorrance, executive director of the Treasure Coast Community Health Foundation.
The pavement will be a colorful extravaganza with all sorts of designs and figures, original work, reproductions of master paintings and even 3-d designs, all raising money for two local nonprofit agencies, Sun Up ARC and Treasure Coast Community Health.
Ms. Chaparro began doing chalk art professionally in 2009 and has a background in graphic design.
She did her first chalk art with her daughters as a way to spend time together, but it began to blossom into something more. She started getting calls to participate in shows as a featured artist.
"The biggest thrill I get out of it is exposing people to art," Ms. Chaparro said.
Chalk art is an art form many people have never seen before and passers-by always ask if they can take pictures of the art, she said.
"I always say yes, because the more people that see it, the better," Ms. Chaparro said.
Ms. Chaparro usually works out a template and design before arriving to events. She alternates between original art, 3-d art and recreations of paintings by master artists.
She will be giving a workshop a few weeks before the festival to give participants tips and tricks on how to make a great design, but the date has not yet been confirmed.
Local artists, art students and professional chalk artists are invited to spend the day working on their art and can participate in a juried art show at the end, Mr. Dorannce said.
The art festival will raise funds for medical needs by Sun Up ARC and Treasure Coast Community Heath, Mr. Dorrance said.
Sun Up ARC clients are individuals with mental and development disabilities who often have very unusual needs to receive basic medical and dental care, he said.
Some individuals have such severe needs that they require special oral sedation dental equipment, which is expensive. The Treasure Coast Community Health Foundation is a separate entity from Treasure Coast Community Health and handles the fundraising for the medical organization, Mr. Dorrance said.
Treasure Coast Community Health offers cost-effective and quality medical, dental and mental health care to non-insured and under-insured people in the community.
Eye care is also challenging for Sun Up ARC clients, because it also involves sitting still for an extended period of time, but new technology is available that can give prescription readings in three seconds, Mr. Dorrance said.
Optometrist Joyce Desrosiers said she would assist with patients referred to Sun Up ARC and Treasure Coast Community Health, which is a great boon, Mr. Dorrance said.
There are many charitable organizations in Indian River County, but it's not often two of them team up for a cause, he said.
"I hope that donors will see our cooperation and productivity for the community and really see where their money can help," Mr. Dorrance said.
For more information, call Mr. Dorrance at (772) 571-1982. Applications can be found at www.cultural-council.org/Chalk-Art-Festival-Application.html.