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Feb 27, 2017

Enjoying Art on the Streets of the Old Capital

The seventh edition of the anticipated Street Art Festival took place over the weekend in the downtown area of Belize City. The arts were in full display, from paintings to music and fashion. But one activity that had a strong following was the impressive sidewalk chalk competition. News Five’s Duane Moody was there and has a report.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

From the theatre to the streets – all genres of the creative arts were on display this weekend as hundreds of persons converged on downtown Albert Street in Belize City for the seventh annual Street Art Festival, organized by the Institute of Creative Arts. The event had something for persons of all ages – from painting/art displays, to fashion and jewelry on sale as well as a kids section. Aside from the various booths, the main attractions were the youth and main stages, where entertainment was in full swing, highlighting Brukdown Legend Leela Vernon.

 

Karen Vernon

Karen Vernon, Acting Director, Institute of Creative Arts

“Down Albert Street is artist booths—paintings, jewelry, people making baskets, all sorts of arts and crafts and people are just engaging with the artists and buying their things and ‘vybing’ with the artists. I hope they are ordering so that the artists can make some money. There’s the youth stage all the way down that side, there’s the pandemonium steal pan playing and there is a mechanical bull which seems to be very popular. And right behind us you could see the grey lady which is always an amazing thing happening. It’s exciting being out here. I am dog-tired but I’m still on my feet.”

 

Joseph Stamp Romero

Joseph Stamp Romero, Coordinator, Youth Stage

“The youth stage is a testimony, my testimony, of how creativity a change your life. Our theme this year is “Your Creativity is Louder than Gun.” We really believe that if young people get more chance to express themselves in a positive way through the creative arts, through sports, through other means; that you will see a different country. We don’t think it is the only solution, but we know it is a part of the solution. So today when you come to the youth stage, you will see dancers from across the country—from Punta Gorda, Dangriga—you’ll see young people interacting in a competitive way.”

 

The event literally took art from the canvas to the cement in a breath-taking challenge, the Sidewalk Chalk Competition. Various artists, including primary school students, participated in the amateur and professional categories of the true street art contest along the Battlefield Park.

 

Ilona Smiling, Coordinator, Sidewalk Chalk Competition

“Oh my gosh, everything is just so beautiful; everyone came out and they did their best. We have the chalk-off between Micah, Keion and Marvin. And as you can see, the artwork is amazing; that’s why we had them in their own category. We had the kid’s section; they did amazing as well. The colors they use, everything is just so beautiful.”

 

Duane Moody

“Gial dehn di fight; they di compete. Talk to us about what you guys are looking for specifically in judging this?”

 

Ilona Smiling

Ilona Smiling

“They are competing yes. We are just looking for their creative side. Their artistic creativity; what they bring to the table. If it is something that they drew themselves or if it is something that they got off of the internet and if they interpret it in their own way. So it is just different things. As long as you bring your best and you make it your own. That’s what we are looking for.”

 

Duane Moody

“Would you say this is what the street art festival is all about because it is done on the pavement itself?”

 

Ilona Smiling

“Yes, this is exactly what the street art is about and like I said, I always tell any artist that if they want to do anything new, this is a perfect medium for you to come and explore; something new. Get off the canvas, get of the paper…just come out to Street Art and just get some chalk and make some art.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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