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Santa Barbara Artist Jay Schwartz to Paint at Chalk Festival in New York

He will be among an elite group of street painters participating in this weekend's event

Santa Barbara resident and business owner Jay Schwartz will be participating in an elite group of renowned chalk artists at this weekend’s Hudson Valley Chalk Festival in New Paltz, NY.

Also known as “street painting,” the festival will feature Schwartz and 11 other of the country’s most eminent madonnari (chalk artists). This event is hosted by Water Street Market and will take place Friday through Sunday.

Schwartz, who recently participated in his 21st consecutive I Madonnari festival in Santa Barbara, has been featured at festivals throughout the United States and has traveled to Italy, Japan and Mexico to produce street paintings.

He fell into the art of street painting in 1992, lured by the unusual medium, which is a mix of fine art and performance art.

“The paintings we create are not only done ‘live,’ but they’re also ephemeral, vulnerable to the elements,” Schwartz said. “Only viewing them in context can provide a lasting impression. The art is extreme — we’re in the heat, the threat of weather, and it’s an impermanent craft. But for me, it’s more than a hobby now, it’s an addiction. As soon as I recover from one painting, I’m looking forward to the next. This is the first-ever Hudson Valley Chalk Festival; it’s really an honor to be able to participate.”

When asked what his favorite aspect of street painting is, Jay replies, “As I paint, spectators often linger to watch my progress and ask questions. Their interaction makes the whole experience meaningful and rewarding for all of us. It has become my favorite pastime, invoking a passion from my creative side.”

In addition to being a world-renowned street painter, Schwartz is also an acclaimed artist professionally, as owner and founder of award-winning interactive agency IdeaWork Studios Inc., with offices in Santa Barbara, New York and Las Vegas..

— Amber Rouleau is a publicist representing IdeaWork Studios Inc.

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