Ventura Art and Street Painting Festival

In 2008 Barbara Hinton was an active member of the Chamber of Commerce in Ventura, California, who wanted to create an annual event that would showcase the local artists of the area.

Within a year the city signed off on what was then called the Ventura Art in the Park. The first year was a success, but the location was moved for more accessibility.

As of 2011, Hinton decided she wanted to add street painters to the festival, and with the new location at the Ventura harbor, the space offered there for the street painters was a perfect fit.

“These are performance artists,” she said. “They’re doing it because they like the interaction.”

The festival brings together a combination of artists from around the area, selling their handmade pieces in booths, and the street painters, whose work on the sidewalks is ephemeral and will disappear after the first heavy rains.

“People ask the chalk artists, ‘You work so hard and it’s gone, doesn’t that bother you?’ and they’re like, ‘No, that’s what we do,’” Hinton said. “They’re a fun group of people.”

The event sells sponsorships and the proceeds are donated to Food Share, the county food bank. Each sponsor then gets their business name next to a street painter while they are working.

Hinton couldn’t be happier with the turn out of the visitors every year, and she feels lucky to have the harbor as the festival event site and backdrop.

“Look out there,” she said. “The street painters are right next to the water!”