Expression through chalk at Via Arté


Tony Hernandez II

Magnolia Aviña, a senior studio arts major works on her piece on Day 1 of Via Arté at the Market Place.

Lauren Hill, Features Editor

Bright colors filled the pavement of The Marketplace on Saturday, Oct. 19 and Sunday, Oct. 20 for the 21st annual Via Arté event.

Via Arté is an annual festival organized by the Bakersfield Museum of Art which turns everyday roads and parking spaces into lively pictures. Artists of all ages come to The Marketplace and spend their weekend creating chalk art while spectators come to watch and take in the beauty.

Pulling into the event there are people everywhere walking from their cars to the blocked off section of the lot where the art is displayed. Music by Blonde Faith was being performed. They covered old classic rock hits by artists like The Eagles, 4 Non Blondes, and more.

Lead vocalist of Blonde Faith, Tamera L. Mahan, said to the audience between songs, “Thank you! How’s the art looking out there? I haven’t seen it yet but I heard that it’s really good.”

While walking through the spaces, the chalked images portray florals, insects, and landscapes. Not only that, but fictional characters as well, such as Doctor Strange from the Marvel Universe, and Oogie Boogie from “Nightmare Before Christmas.”

A large portrait of influencer and hair specialist on the popular Netflix Original Queer Eye’s Johnathan VanNess is drawn to grayscale on the asphalt. He wears a headband that says, “KWEEN.”

Various high school art departments showcased their talents in the event, and current CSU Bakersfield students such as Esai Mendez, Ramiro Hernandez, Francisco Holhuin, Magnolia Aviña, and more participated in painting the streets.

There were also individuals working the event and helping the artists and spectators. CSUB art major Chelsea Geronimo worked the artist tent on Saturday afternoon.

“This is my first year,” Geronimo said about working Via Arté.

“I think just getting to see everyone’s artwork is really cool and it’s also super inclusive, kids who can do it and professional artists can as well.”

Geronimo also adds that she would love to come back and work the event again next year.

The various awards were announced and distributed on Sunday afternoon at 3:45 p.m., after the art was due to qualify. All of the art had hours of work poured into it and created a great environment for Bakersfield.

As the Bakersfield Museum of Art posted on Instagram (@TheBMOA), “Here’s to all the hardworking artists from this weekend!”