Art and Street Painting Festival participants create beautiful pieces of art

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Gayle DuRivage creates a piece of harmony and unity for the virtual 2020 Art and Street Painting Festival. Valley News/Courtesy photo

The city of Temecula recently held its virtual 2020 Art and Street Painting Festival. Due to social distancing orders with the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s festival was held entirely online, and many individuals created their own pieces for the show.

Menifee resident Gayle DuRivage has participated in the Temecula’s annual festival for 14 years. The first time she participated in the chalk art event she didn’t know much about it, even though she’s an artist and has a degree in illustration and graphic design.

“I learned a lot the first year that I participated, as far as what chalks we use and the way that artists transfer images to get them proportionately onto the street,” DuRivage said. “It’s something that I’ve enjoyed doing because it’s fun doing the art on the street with the audience and the interaction. Talking with the people and the whole interactive aspect of it is what I’ve always enjoyed about it, which was a lot different this year since it was virtual.”

Since quarantine started, DuRivage said she has been drawing doodles with chalk during her daily three-mile walk around her immediate neighborhood.

“It kind of evolved into doing more elaborate, bigger pieces and I got a lot of positive feedback from people in the area, so I’m actually doing chalk art on commission base right now,” DuRivage said.

The piece DuRivage created for the festival was one she wanted to create.

Lori Antoinette’s drawing was done in Palmdale. Valley News/Courtesy photo

“It’s very meaningful to me,” DuRivage said, adding that she normally puts words with her pieces to support it, but didn’t with this one. “I wanted people to look at it and take what they could from it, interpret it in their own way.

“With all the Black Lives Matter and equality and everything that’s happening right now, I wanted to just show a piece in a way that I could with showing support and unity and love and all those things,” DuRivage said.

Palmdale resident Lori Antoinette may not live in the area, but the virtual nature allowed her to participate this year. She participated in the Temecula festival a few years before, and received a message from a friend encouraging her to join in the virtual platform this year.

“My driveway was ready for it,” Antoinette said, laughing. “I ran the picture through some processes, different colors and stuff,” she said.

She thought it would be a fun piece for people and incorporated the balloons to give it a Temecula Wine Country feel.

“I wanted people to look at it cause it was fun and just laugh,” Antoinette said.

The Best of Show winner was announced Monday, June 8. The image was of George Floyd, created by chalk artist and Temecula resident Scott Park.

Scott Park recreates chalk art image of George Floyd. Valley News/Courtesy photo

This was the first time Park entered a piece. Park is 17 and is going to be a senior at Temecula Valley High School.

“Despite not having taken any high school art classes, I love to draw and paint in my free time, as well as explore new art mediums to try out,” Park said. He originally didn’t have a plan and was trying to brainstorm different topics that he could recreate.

“I ended up doing a piece on George Floyd as a tribute to his tragic death, which I wanted to bring awareness to,” Park said. “I was hesitant at first for a couple reasons, one being that portraits are super easy to mess up, and that the rules stated  no “political” references in the chalk art. I personally didn’t see Floyd’s death as a political statement, and my dad reached out to the people in charge of the chalk festival to ask as well. They said it was a wonderful idea, so I ended up following through with the piece.”

The piece itself was a one to two day process.

“I’m pretty sure I woke up from a nap when my piece won, so I was a little drowsy when my parents told me the news, but I was happy nonetheless,” Park said.

Park hopes people understand how important the meaning behind the piece is. “Floyd’s life mattered. Breonna Taylor’s life mattered. Ahmaud Arbery’s life mattered. Every Black person who was wrongfully murdered because of their race, that their lives mattered,” Park said.

“These deaths represent all the Black lives who have been discriminated against for centuries since slavery, and we must give exposure to these deaths in order to end the injustices which are currently taking place.”

To see more of the festival’s work, visit https://temeculaca.gov/1409/Chalk-Artists.

Antoinette said she sent over some chalk to friends that wanted to try it for the first time with their families.

“The only way to find out if you like it or whether you’re good at it or anything is just to do it,” she said.

This article has been updated to reflect information on the winner Monday, June 22.

Lexington Howe can be reached by email at lhowe@reedermedia.com.