From live chalk painting and canvas art to virtual reality sculpting and an ‘Ancient Technology’ petting zoo complete with typewriters, cassette players and old-fashioned telephones, ArtLit 2020 had something inspiring to offer attendees of all ages.
The free annual festival put on by Broward County Libraries and the City of Pompano Beach, which attracts thousands of locals and visitors alike, essentially transformed the Pompano beach Library and Cultural Center into an art funhouse for the day offering art-related activities inside and along its grounds.
This year’s theme “Remembering the Past, Envisioning the Future” incorporated elements such as time travel with a screening of “Back to the Future” and a nostalgia zone complete with old school MC Hammer and Pee-wee Herman dolls.
“This is the third year we’ve done this event, but the second year at this library,” said Artist, Arts Educator and Consultant for ArtLit Carrie Bennett. “They’ve added more live interactive art pieces and a lot of new vendors. It’s a very relatable, family-friendly event that’s bringing the community together while promoting arts and literature.”
Bennett particularly enjoys the children’s chalk wall and seeing community youth get involved with ArtLit. This year, the wall was filled with messages of hope, peace and tranquility. “I love how people are expressing themselves at this event,” said Mia Florian, 13, a Coconut Creek resident who volunteered at the event with her mother Maribell and brother Florian. “I love that this event is specifically for art and it’s fun seeing art everywhere at the festival.”
About 25 chalk artists created chalk art at the event in addition to the chalk wall for public to write messages on.
Lake Worth-based artist Jeanie Burns retuned to ArtLit to create a chalk design for the second year in a row. “This year I went with a steampunk face and flying car to represent the future,” Burns explained. “I like working with chalk because it’s very ephemeral. You do it and walk away from it and it won’t be here after the rain so it’s artwork you have to enjoy in the present moment.”
Artist Emily Webster of Pompano Beach participated in chalking at ArtLit 2020 for the first time. “I decided to draw a Buddha today because I want peace and art makes a better world,” Webster said. “ArtLit is truly a fun and lively event.”
Five-year-old Woodson Fleurizard was all smiles as he put on a virtual reality headset for the first time and created a virtual sculpture. He was one of dozens of ArtLit event goers who got to experience this innovative way to make art.
Miami based-virtual sculptor Jonathan Stamp led these live demonstrations. “Virtual sculpting is the next medium and 3-D work is the hot new thing in galleries,” Stamp said. “It allows people from all ages to express themselves. They are learning the software and creating art.”