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3D pavement 'chalk god' Kurt Wenner coming to Sarasota Chalk Festival

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Internationally renowned 3D chalk artist Kurt Wenner will headline the 2011 Sarasota Chalk Festival in November, the festival announced Friday.

Wenner, whose work has included Absolut Vodka ads and a Renaissance city painted in chalk on the pavement in Bettona, Italy, will work with area students to create a pavement piece in Burns Court, the site of the festival for the last three years. His work also will be the subject of a gallery exhibit at the Ringling College of Art and Design.

"This will be the first time he will be participating in a festival since 1995," said festival chair Denise Kowal. "He's booked up constantly."

Wenner, who spent a number of years studying art in Italy, now makes his home on an island in the Pacific Northwest.

"He's considered the chalk god," said Kowal.

This year's festival theme, "Pavement Art Through the Ages," will capitalize on Wenner's expertise; he has written a book on the history of street painting and his involvement, titled "Asphalt Renaissance: The Pavement Art and 3D Illusions of Kurt Wenner."

Wenner will give a series of technique classes, lectures and demonstrations during the festival, which will run Nov. 1-7. His gallery show at the Ringling College will run Oct. 25-Nov. 8.

Last modified: August 5, 2011
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