A new festival coming to Scottsdale this fall will paint the town red - and a rainbow of other hues, too.
Downtown Scottsdale will host its first Via Colori festival - an Italian street painting festival - where more than 100 artists are expected to converge on the Stagebrush Theatre parking lot and its surrounding area on East Second Street to create hundreds of large- and small-scale chalk murals on the pavement.
"It's a celebration of the act of creativity. You will get to watch artists creating amazing frescos," said the event's chairwoman, Andrea Beaulieu.
Event organizers are now calling all artists to register to participate in the main event, which will be Oct. 18-19. Spaces also are still available for parents to register their children for the accompanying Via Bambini part of the show.
Beaulieu said about 150 work spaces, which are paid for by event sponsors, will be assigned to registered participants, who will be given special soft pastel chalk to create an asphalt masterpiece. The event, Beaulieu said, is free to participants and attendees. There will be a nominal fee to participate in Via Bambini, the children's part of the show where youngsters will have the opportunity to create their own artworks.
Registered participants will get a free street painting workshop from California-based fine artist and street painter Melanie Stimmell in May and October to get them ready for the fall event. Stimmell, the featured guest artist at Scotts-dale's Via Colori, has been street painting internationally at art festivals since the late 1990s.
She said there is something for everyone at a Via Colori festival.
"Artists will be working in different styles," Stimmell said.
What makes the event intriguing to onlookers, Stimmell said, is the fact that the artworks will be washed away at the festival's close. "People get excited," Stimmell said. "They'll watch and come back to see it finished, knowing it won't be there the next day."
Proceeds from Via Colori will benefit the Scottsdale Cultural Council, Arizonans for Children, a nonprofit group for abused and abandoned children, and Devereux Arizona, a Scottsdale center for children with behavioral difficulties.