Chalk Walk 2017

July 8 - 9, 2017

Chalk Walk entertains, engages, and educates the 40,000 viewers who flock to see the spectacle unfold.  The event is based on an Italian tradition of street painting that dates to the 16th century, known as i madonnari (street painters). Using pastels, artists may choose to reproduce existing artworks or create their own in their designated square. Held in conjunction with the Three Rivers Festival, Chalk Walk is truly a community event and draws on the amazing talents of area, regional and national artists. Individuals and families with no training in art are especially encouraged to participate.

This event draws thousands of people in the community to the heart of downtown Fort Wayne for artists and spectators alike to witness the transformation of Main Street into the colorful canvas of the city. Year after year, our goal is to draw the city's most creative citizens for one long weekend each summer to contribute to the largest community art project in the region, attracting families, friends, and supporters of a vibrant cultural life in downtown Fort Wayne.

New for 2017: FWMoA will be charging admission to the museum July 8 and 9. Each Chalk Walk participant will receive a Family Admission pass for one-time use redeemable July 8 or 9, 2017, and FWMoA will offer free admission to the museum for anyone wearing a 3 Rivers Festival official 2017 button. There is no charge to visit the Chalk Walk event on Main Street.

Important dates:
April 3, 10am: Registration begins at the link below.
July 7: Early check-in and square planning, 5-8pm
July 8: Chalking begins at 10am, public welcome 10am-sundown
July 9: Chalking continues from 11am-5pm, prizes awarded at 4pm*
*Prizes may be awarded sooner than 4pm Sunday, depending on the possibility of rain.

Square Prices and Details:
**ALL 8'x8' and 4'x4' SQUARES ARE SOLD OUT. Contact Emily Uphoff at emily.uphoff@fwmoa.org if you would like to be put on our Chalk Walk 2017 waiting list.
4'x4' square: $5, includes 12ct pastels, water, event bag, and $5 coupon for the 2017 Chalk Walk T-shirt
8'x8' square:
$10, includes 24ct pastels, water, event bag, and 2017 Chalk Walk T-shirt

Squares are assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis, and we work hard to place each chalker near friends and family, if desired. Chalkers are not prioritized based on a preferred part of the street in the shade, for example, or away from cracks or manholes in the street. 

Prizes:
Cash Prizes are awarded to winners in each Chalk category. Winners are chosen by a panel of judges from FWMoA and the community, except for the People's Choice Award, which is chosen by the public. 

2017 Award Categories:

  • 2018 T-Shirt design
    You will not be competing to design the whole t-shirt or change the Chalk Walk logo, so just create a really cool drawing of whatever you like that you think might look awesome incorporated into a t-shirt design, and the judges will do the rest! The judges may also choose something that was not entered into this category, with artist permission.
  • Best Use of a Street Blemish
    Manholes and cracks in the street are a part of Chalk Walk! How will you deal with the imperfections of your square in a creative way?
  • Trompe l’oeil
    French for "fool the eye", trompe l'oeil drawings utilize 3D drawing techniques that fool the viewer by making the drawing seem like it's a part of real life.
  • Reproduce a Work From the FWMoA Collection (visit www.fwmoa.org/collections to take a peek at what we have!)
  • Favorite Travel Destination
  • Portrait of your Favorite Artist
  • Favorite Fictional Character
  • People's Choice
    The public votes for this one!

Interested in Volunteering for Chalk Walk?
The Chalk Walk Team is always looking for volunteers to help with the event!  Email Emily Uphoff at emily.uphoff@fwmoa.org today.

Dear prospective Chalk Walk artist,

Last year's Chalk Walk was a great success in many ways. The art, which each of your create on the difficult surface of our city's streets, is simply wonderful. Creative expression is, of course, the whole point of Chalk Walk. For the community, whether amateurs or full-time artists, this event celebrates the creativity that you choose to share with thousands of people. We encourage you to continue the legacy of inventive visual expression on the city streets.

We'd like to remind you that brand identifications, logos, and URLs in chalk are reserved for our supporting sponsors and that individual non-sponsored squares should focus on non-commercial or non-promotional artwork. For prize consideration, please note our special prize categories, and if you have any questions about acceptable presentations, please call us at 260.422.6467.

Rules of participation:

1. Only NON oil-based pastels are to be used. The use of any other material is prohibited except for diluted tempera paint, which may be used as a thin wash of undercoat.  Tempera paint is the ONLY paint allowed to be used as an undercoat for your artwork.

2. The FWMoA reserves the right to deem any subject matter as inappropriate for this all-ages, non-commercial event.  Inappropriate subject matter includes hateful political statements, political campaign/endorsement messages, commercial advertisement (statements or logos by non-sponsoring organizations) or subject matter not suitable for children.  

Chalk Walk artists that create squares with any of the following subject matter may be asked to stop and/or paint over their square:

  • Violence, pornography, or blood and gore
  • Hateful imagery or inflammatory messages toward any individual or groups of people
  • Logos, websites, or commercial messages in any non-sponsored square

3. The FWMoA reserves the right to limit the number of people working on any space at any given time to two, with the exception of those who have registered for family spaces.

4. Inevitably, some Chalkers will be placed on a square with cracks or other street blemishes. This is a fact of the event, and we will most likely not be able to move you to another square. We suggest you make the most of it by entering your square into the "Best Use of a Street Blemish" category for a chance to win a cash prize.

5. Non-compliance with these rules may result in removal from the event.  

6. Outdoor hand washing stations and restrooms will be on site –  artists are asked to use these facilities in an effort to keep the interior of the Museum chalk-free.

Tips for a great Chalk Walk:

  • Bring a hat of some kind as well as sun block to provide protection from sunburn and lessen the sun's glare as you work.
  • Kneepads or a cushion of some kind is highly recommended.
  • Commercial "sidewalk chalk" is not recommended for drawing on the street. You may purchase additional pastels from us the weekend of the event if you need more.
  • Before you begin to chalk, applying a coat of tempera water-soluble paint to the street surface helps to fill in holes and cover large areas of your square with color. Doing this allows you to save your chalk for the detailed areas of your masterpiece. Tempera can be applied with a sponge or brush and a bucket of water for thinning.
  • Event artists usually use a light color to sketch in the design before beginning to color in the image. Sketching the design first helps to insure the image is accurate and proportional. Additional pastels can be purchased just about anywhere that art or educational supplies are sold. The museum will have a limited amount of pastels available for purchase during the event.
  • Create an image that you will be able to complete and have fun with during the two days of Chalk Walk. You will want to be able to move around to see all the other artists at work, but if you have too much detail you may not be able to get away from your work.
  • Have fun and be prepared to leave covered with chalk!


311 E Main Street
Fort Wayne, IN 46802
Gallery Hours Tuesday - Saturday: 10am-6pm
Thursday: 10am-8pm
Sunday: 12-5pm
Administrative Office Hours Monday - Friday: 8:30am-5pm
P: (260) 422-6467
F: (260) 422-1374