Belfast’s first Chalk Art Festival arrives

Chalk work by Omar Oriente will be on display
Chalk work by Omar Oriente will be on display
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This coming weekend Ballymac Friendship Trust will welcome seven chalk artists from France, Holland, Italy and Venezuela who will take part in the first ever Chalk Art Festival to be held in east Belfast.

The unique programme is the brainchild of Dee Craig from Belfast Mural Arts and will take place Saturday July 6 and Sunday July 7 on the Fraser Pass Walkway, Pitt Park, at the bottom of the Newtownards Road.

Work by seven international chalk artists will be displayed including Pierluca Arena, Fabio Fedele, Danille Lasalandra, Matthew May, Clelia Peverada, Christian Truca

and Omar Oriente.

Seven artworks will be created in chalk featuring images of the Titanic, bonfires and the Giants Causeway, all done in 3D, as well as large scale visions of the Somme, King William III, and scenes from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and Game of Thrones.

Dee said: “I have seen many of these events take place across the world and this is something I have wanted to bring to Belfast for a few years now and working with Ballymac has made that a reality.

“This type of art form, alongside the quality of the visiting artists, I believe, will complement the many traditional artworks and murals that are part of the make-up of this community whilst at the same time, building on international relationships and sharing a good news story about east Belfast.”

There festival will also feature amusements, arts and crafts workshops for kids, balloon modelling, face painting and food trucks, as well as a showcase of the achievements of young people from east Belfast who have completed OCNs in Street Art, Theatrical Make Up and Sound Tech, a programme supported by the Urban Villages Initiative and delivered through Ballymac Friendship Trust.

Siobhan Broderick, programme director, Urban Villages Initiative, said: “This OCN programme is building capacity in these young people in east Belfast, it is great to see their confidence building as the skills they have learned are showcased to a wide audience at this event alongside international artists.

“The Urban Villages Initiative aims to create thriving places in each of the Urban Village areas and events such as this certainly help to do that. It is also bringing visitors into the area who might not previously have visited EastSide and is therefore contributing to the growing tourism initiatives in the area.”

Roz Small, manager of Ballymac Friendship Trust, said: “It is simply fabulous to bring a new form of street art to east Belfast. I have seen the artists’ designs and I know people will be extremely impressed. It is also a brilliant opportunity for our young people to display their achievements and gain some applause. Some of the girls who have done the OCN in Theatrical Make Up will be assisting with the face painting and a mural of George Best created by those who have completed the Street Art OCN will be hung beside the chalk artworks.”

This event is supported by Belfast City Council, Eastside Urban Villages Initiative and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

For more information visit www.eastival.ticketsolve.com.