Main Avenue before and after the rain on Saturday. BEN OLIVO | SAN ANTONIO HERON

Throughout the morning and early afternoon on Saturday, some very fine and sporadic drizzle landed on the 15th edition of Artpace's Chalk It Up, held this year on Houston Street and Main Avenue. It was not enough to obscure the dozens of sidewalk and street pieces that had already been created with chalk by featured artists, school art clubs and the thousands of families who walk up and participated—as they're encouraged to do. Until about 1:30 p.m. That's when a five-minute downpour wiped away the pieces, or rendered them unrecognizable. There was still 2½ hours left in the event, plenty of time to recreate the art—and some people did continue to draw—but it deflated most of the participants who got started on their works well before the 10 a.m. start time. As is the custom, an Artpace photographer with the help of an assistant positioned a ladder in front of each piece, climbed it and captured the blotches of color. He dutifully took the photos anyway to save something for the record.

Contact Ben Olivo: 210-421-3932 | | @rbolivo on Twitter

Alamo Heights students produced this piece in 2016. BEN OLIVO | SAN ANTONIO HERON

It's not just another year of Chalk It Up, which takes place 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.


Artpace's free downtown street festival turns 15 this year, and it's celebrating with new footprint.

Instead of just being on Houston Street, the festival will include Main Avenue, which means it will be held outside Artpace's front door.

Artpace anticipates 25,000 people to attend this year's festival.

Among the featured artists is the group Borderland Collective, who will be extending its current Artpace exhibit, "One to Another," an exploration of the global migration crisis by way of storytelling methods. Other featured artists include Jose Balli, Sarah Barcus, Lucas Dooley, Raul Gonzalez, Jeremiah Teutsch and Nancy Wood. About 70 local student groups will participate in a mural competition.

Everyone is invited to create their own masterpieces with chalk in the H-E-B freestyle zone. There will be plenty of kids activities, including the always popular Spirograph-inspired Chalka Kahn contraption.

The event also promises food trucks and continuous music on the KRTU 91.7 Jazz Main Stage.

Contact Ben Olivo: 210-421-3932 | | @rbolivo on Twitter

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