For two days, artists have transformed a shopping center parking lot into a sidewalk show. Chalk painters from pre-schoolers to professionals laid out their top designs for the 14th Annual Via Arte Italian street painting festival.
"It’s pretty much the only opportunity to do something like this and everyone just comes out and has a good time," said Wyatt Pishinski, a senior at Stockdale High School.
Pishinski and classmate Yasmine Suleiman painted a picture of one of their favorite photographers.
"It's just all about the color, when you look at the photograph, and you just have to pick those out and figure out where they go," said Suleiman. "It's fun getting dirty with the chalk, which is different from the normal classroom art setting, we don’t really get a 7 by 7 piece of pavement to work on."
Each block of space is paid for, and the money helps educational programs at Bakersfield Museum of Art. Award-winning artist Lorelle Miller is the festival's featured artist from Santa Clarita. She painted a piece called Idyll by Lord Frederick Leighton in 1880.
"Strangely enough, it reminded me of Bakersfield because of the flat, wide horizon," said Miller. "It looked like I was coming up the Grapevine."
Artists moved their designs from paper to the pavement, including art work of some famous faces, such as Marilyn Monroe and John Stamos. A festival favorite featuring cell phones won first place for best original design.
"The cell phone thing is on everybody's mind. Everywhere you look, somebody's on a cell phone, people are texting while they’re driving, it's happening and that’s our culture," said winning artist Art Sherwyn. "Thousands of people come by and they look at the art, and they get pride in where we come from, there's something about Bakersfield and the chalkers here, we're just really good."
Betty Pacheco came all the way from Washington D.C. to see the unique street paintings. Her daughter in-law Lori Antoinette is an artist from Palmdale, who drew an Italian piece at the festival.
"I just loved all the artists here for one thing because they have such a gift and also because they have such a camaraderie," Pacheco says.
The drawings will stay up at the Marketplace at 9000 Ming Avenue in Southwest Bakersfield until Monday night.