Sarasota News Leader

09/21/12

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PAINT WITH YOUR CHALK FESTIVAL? The annual Chalk Festival draws tens of thousands of people to Burns Square every fall. Photo by Norman Schimmel PROPOSAL FOR USE OF PAINT IN SOME FESTIVAL ARTWORK INCITES CITY CONCERNS. By Stan Zimmerman City Editor The annual Chalk Festival on and around Pineapple Avenue in Burns Square is now a major tourist destination, and the 2012 version could prove bigger and better than ever. The theme this year is "Circus," and it will even feature a live monkey armed with chalk. The festival will also feature artists armed with paint, and that has city officials in a tizzy. When Denise Kowal, founder and organizer of the event, told the City Com- mission on Sept. 17 that at least one artist is planning on using paint on the street, hackles went up. "This is the first time I'm hearing about paint," said Deputy City Manager Marlon Brown. Kowal was asking the city to hold off pres- sure-washing the artistic renderings on the street for a while after the festival ends. "Maybe keep it up during [tourist] season," she suggested. "Some of it would last for nine months, but we want a very clean street before the next festival so we would want to pressure-clean it after six months." She then mentioned in passing that the pre- mier chalk street artist in the world – Kurt Wenner – planned on using some paint in his piece. "It would be our responsibility

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