Hoopers Island expands its art scene with the Chalk Art Festival and a new mural

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Hoopers Island is known for sport fishing, crabbing, sea glass, and the home of Phillips Seafood. This weekend, add ‘chalk party’ to the list of reasons to visit the island. On November 5 and 6, the first Hoopers Island Chalk Arts Festival takes place. Sponsored by the Dorchester Center for the Arts (DCA) and vacation rental owner Kellie Ellis-Neal, the first-time event was inspired by Hoopers Island chalk artist Ed Krell.

When Krell’s “Bungalow Wings” mural was installed on the side of a local building owned by Ellis-Neal, his work depicting life on Hoopers Island won strong support from the community and locals alike. visitors. DCA discovered Krell when an advocate for his art insisted, “‘You gotta see this guy’s work!’

DCA has signed on to exhibit Krell’s “The Story of 81,” a tribute to a friend who battled schizophrenia and later lost his life to the disease. (To respect his friend’s privacy, Krell replaces his name with the number 81). In keeping with DCA’s mission to bring artists and art into the community, the Chalk Festival was born. Entitled “Making Big Waves: Creating Waves of Healing One Chalk Line at a Time,” the two-day festival is dedicated to raising awareness about mental health issues.

Krell says, “The chalk art festival is very dear to me because it is in honor of 81 years. That’s kind of the reason why I started making art for mental health awareness. Sometimes you get the chance to do something really good for a group of people and I’ll take great care to make sure I can make art that will communicate. You can help using art and for me it is such a blessing.

Lori Antoinette of the Chalk Mafia shows off her work. Courtesy picture.

Hoopers Island First Chalk Festival brings chalk artists from across the country to the island community for two days of demonstrations, workshops and inspiration. Joining Ed Krell will be Lori Antoinette, leader of the chalk art collective Chalk Mafia. Antoinette, originally from Baltimore, will lead workshops on both days, with half a dozen other artists also present. Lee Reece, an artist from Hoopers Island, will lead a comic drawing workshop. If you’ve ever imagined yourself as a comic book character, now’s the time to put yourself on paper.

Rain or shine, the two days will be filled with activities. Unlike sidewalk art or small-scale chalk, festival artists create their work on 8’x8′ boards. The DCA invites visitors to “come on Saturday morning to see how it all begins and come back on Sunday to marvel at the finished product.” Unlike other chalk art methods, these pieces will be saved for an upcoming exhibit in January to highlight mental health awareness.

In keeping with DCA’s art and community representation mission, local artisans and food vendors will be selling food and gifts. Shop with Kayla Allen (en plein air paintings and prints); Spicy shark sauce; Soulhuntress, (psychic, tarot and energy readings); Ink and Annie (driftwood art); Ellis-Neal (housewares); Photograph by Ned Egan; Ashley Keith (handmade polymer clay paintings and jewelry) and pillows by FarmerCharsDesigns. The For All Seasons Association Mental health services will be there with Spanish speaking staff available. Enjoy music on the mural from Marianne Styles, Jon Jacobs, KC Stengl, Makayla Falkner and The Brookletts, a high school band from Easton. Enjoy good local cuisine at Taqueria Florita and Chubbs BBQ.

Come to Chalk Festival and enjoy the two-day event that brings art, community and awareness together at The Mural at 1123 Ballpark Rd., Fishing Creek, Md. from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Hooper’s Island.

Find more information about the festival and its participants on the Hoopers Island First Chalk Art Festival website.

-Niambi Davis

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