Via Arte kicks off as kids to long time professionals make their art come alive

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Dozens of artists transform the landscape into beautiful portraits that feel almost alive.

From a condensed sized down art show because of COVID last year to a now fully packed festival. Via Arte has returned to its full size venue and people keep coming.

“We are back, we are back,” Lauren Marty the Marketing Manager at the Bakersfield Museum of Art said. “Via Arte is the Italian street painting festival which is one of the largest fundraisers for the Bakersfield Museum of Art.”

It’s at the Marketplace on Ming Avenue and viewing the art is free. The art isn’t just for show but instead it’s like a competition between the artists.

“At the Via Arte artists apply to participate,” Marty said. “They show us examples of their work. They show us an image they plan to reproduce here.”

Once the professionals are picked, they quickly get to crafting their literal works of art.

“The piece I picked today is called fisher women it was painted in 1911,” Katrina Rocha an artist at Via Arte said. “This piece celebrates hard working women. I think I identify most with this piece. I love fishing personally. But it’s mostly a celebration of women.”

This year’s featured artist is Kevin Hardin. His piece is Vincent van Gogh’s “Portrait of the Postman Joseph Roulin.”

“I’ve been doing this for like 22 years,” Hardin said. “My two biggest accomplishments were right here actually. I won best rendition of artwork 2 years in a row.”

I even got a chance to be a part of the creative process in the featured piece. This is because of Hardin’s call for the community to support new and old artists across Bakersfield.

“We need to support the arts,” Hardin said. “We need to have more artists show their work and become strong here in Bakersfield.”

Cash prizes are given to the festival award winners. The categories for the awards are best in festival, best use of color, best technique, best rendition of a master and the people’s choice award.

The award winners will be announced following the judging on Sunday at 4 p.m.

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