Efforts to promote the arts in Atlantic City are literally taking to the streets this week as more than a dozen international artists descend on town to use their talents to decorate the sidewalks.
The Do AC 3D Chalk Art Festival will take place along South Indiana Avenue today through Sunday, with spectators invited to stop by and watch as the artists work.
"It's absolutely going to be fun," said Gordon Ogden, one of the organizers of the event. "These artists that are coming are some of the very best in the world. They are coming from all over the world and you are going to see artwork you have never seen before."
The artists will likely work on their pieces today through Friday. The finished works will be on view starting Saturday morning.
The art will be done so, if viewed at a certain angle, pieces will appear to be 3-D.
Some pieces will be designed so visitors posing for pictures will actually appear to be in the work.
That was the case with a chalk artwork Tracy Lee Strum did for the opening of the film "The Life of Pi."
The piece featured a rowboat and a large whale. People could pose for pictures that made it appear they were in the boat as the whale jumped over it, Ogden said.
Ogden worked with Strum as she pulled together artists for the event. The roster includes talent from the United States, Japan, Northern Ireland, Germany, Ukraine, India and the United Arab Emirates.
"These artists embody the spirit of 3-D street painting," Strum, who was at a similar event in Spain last week, said in a statement. "Millions of people have seen these works on the Internet. But to see the artists at work in person is really extraordinary."
The festival is part of ongoing efforts to promote the arts as a way of attracting tourists to the resort.
In the past year, the Atlantic City Alliance has opened a series of public art installations around the city called "Artlantic" and sponsored a series of live performances and other events at the venues.
The Boardwalk Art Show returned to the city earlier this month for the first time in more than a dozen years, and plans to use retail space in the Wave parking garage as a site for museum galleries and artists' studios is close to fruition. It's hoped that facility will serve as the hub of an arts district in the town.
While the Artlantic project features long-term installations, by its very nature, the chalk art requires visitors to make special efforts to get to the city if they want to enjoy the event. One rainstorm could quickly spell the end of a week's worth of work by an artist.
And this art is meant to be interactive. Beginning Saturday, people will be able to vote for their favorite piece by clicking on 3D Chalk Art Festival tab at facebook.com/AtlanticCityNJ.
"Following the World Championship of Sand Sculpting in June we've found success in events that invite the public to be part of the creative process," Liza Cartmell, president of the alliance, said in a statement. "And once the works are finished, the spectators become a part of the scene. They can pose with, and photograph themselves in these magical 3-D street paintings, which will disappear soon after the festival ends."
Contact Steven V. Cronin:
If you go
DO AC 3D Chalk Art Festival view artists at work 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today through Friday, along South Indiana Avenue between Pacific Avenue and Boardwalk, adjacent to Artlantic: Wonder Art Park; finished paintings on view for free Saturday and Sunday. A livestream of the artists at work can be viewed starting at 10 a.m. today at doatlanticcity.com/3Dchalk