Chalk Festival in Venice will add artists working with flowers, sand

VENICE – For the 15th edition of the Chalk Festival, its founder, Denise Kowal, brings flowers – in particular flower carpets created by artists using flowers, sand and other materials – as part of art forms known as “Infiorata” and “Rangoli”.

Kowal “has studied the art form and purpose of the ephemeral rug in different cultures for many years,” Chalk Festival chief executive Bill Baranowski said in a prepared statement. “She has traveled to infiorata festivals in Italy and Brussels, and seen rangoli artists in India. She was thrilled to be the first festival in the United States to introduce patrons to this particular art.

Related:The Chalk Festival returns to Venice

Denise Kowal at the Infiorata at Genzano de Roma in 2016.

Kowal, through the nonprofit Avenida de Colores, has brought pavement artists from more than 30 countries around the world to Sarasota and Venice since 2007.

Just as pavement art is available for a short time, the art created by “Floralia Infiorata” is temporary.

Chalk Festival executives believe this year’s festival, scheduled for October 28-31 at the Venice Municipal Airport festival grounds, 610 Airport Ave. E., is the first time art lovers in North America will be able to see the floral art creations.

Due to the time of year, the festival is billed as an “animated moving museum”.

Artists arrive before the festival opens and patrons can watch them create their art throughout the four-day event.

Ezequiel de Leon Cruz, from Spain, is one of the greatest artists of the infiorata sand technique.  He will go with 3 artists to the Chalk Festival to create a carpet of sand.

Avenida de Colores brings in artists from Italy, Spain, India and Mexico.

Eduardo Carbone from Argentina, an international researcher and broadcaster specializing in ephemeral carpets, has been hired by Kowal to serve as the coordinating director of Floralia Infiorata 2022.

“Floralia Infiorata promises to be a great artistic manifestation with devotional origins in the Baroque era,” Carbone said in a prepared statement. “It will be a meeting point for different cultures who, in a very particular and unique way, use flowers, sawdust, sand and other natural materials to create what are recognized as carpets of flowers. , ‘Infiorata’ in Italian and ‘Rangoli’ in India. , and its derived “ephemeral carpets”.

Two-dimensional and three-dimensional pavement arts, hallmarks of the 15-year-old festival, are created, as are three-dimensional immersion rooms. Selfies – especially with three-dimensional art – are strongly encouraged.

Restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic have forced the cancellation of the festival in Venice for two consecutive years.

During this period, Kowal was able to organize alternative events, including a three-dimensional indoor museum and the creation of the Avenue of Art, a series of sidewalk artworks in Sarasota’s Burns Court neighborhood that highlighted highlight the history of Sarasota County.

Earlier: Avenue of Art: Artists Offer Sarasota History Walking Tour

The festival returned to Venice for three days in April, with the October Chalk Festival an encore, complete with floral artists as a bonus.

The Pavement Music Festival, featuring local musicians; food trucks and vendors are also returning.

A carving field with handmade zombies and daily pumpkin carving contests also highlight the chalk festival.

Parking is free. Tickets are available at different prices, depending on the number of days and age. Children under 5 are free.

A four-day adult pass is $40.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Earle Kimel primarily covers southern Sarasota County for the Herald-Tribune and can be reached at Support local journalism with a digital subscription to the Herald-Tribune.