SouthShore Riverwalk & Chalk Fest
Memorial Weekend to kicks off the summer on Pittsburgh’s riverfronts with interactive chalk art and Pittsburgh’s best food truck round up this side of the Mon! In 2022, over twenty international chalk artists visited the ‘Burgh to chalk up stunning interactive murals. Public art, live entertainment, local brews, and the best mobile eats in town were served up on the South Shore in the city's new favorite event of the year. Join us in 2023 as "Chalk Fest" continues to grow!
SouthShore Riverwalk & Chalk Fest
Meet the Artists
Aislynn Mullen has had a love for all things artistic for as long as she can remember. Originally from south Florida, she grew up in an eclectic area where she participated in the annual Lake Worth Chalk Festival with her dad since childhood. Today, she is a graduate of the University of Florida in environmental science and is currently in the process of obtaining a second bachelor’s, but her passion for art continues to grow. She has participated in festivals throughout the country and continues to collaborate with her dad often. Her primary focuses include pop culture figures and vibrant color portraits. She currently lives in Falls Church, Virginia with her partner.
BK Lyons, a.k.a. Chalk Dirty, is best known as a street painter, muralist, and fine artist. Based in the Greater Tampa Area, Lyons began drawing before she could walk… according to her mother. Known for her use of bold, high-key color, she has gained a reputation for her ability to adapt to any genre or brief. From master reproductions to urban graffiti, Lyons enjoys creating fun and playful images all while putting her own unique spin on the process. Over the course of her career, Lyons has garnered a deep appreciation for a diverse range of genres and techniques, which span the spectrum of artistic practice from Caravaggio’s use of light to Keith Haring’s simplicity. It is this broad familiarity with various methods and approaches to her work that allow Lyons to continue to push her limits in merging classical style with a new technique. For more examples of art, www.Instagram.com/chalk_dirty
Craig R. Thomas
Craig Thomas is a freelance artist living in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. He is known for his fine art, murals, plein air, and street painting. His artwork has taken him throughout North America, Europe, and the Caribbean. Craig works on commercial, public, and private commissions and has been working as a professional street painter for 31 years!
Erica has a bachelor’s degree in psychology but has always had a passion for art and color. She has participated in chalk art festivals across the East Coast, from Florida to Maine, along with her husband Jesse. She now enjoys providing commission chalkboards for businesses, chalk murals for festivals as well as by commission, and other commissions through her business Manifest Creative Studio. Her favorite mediums are pastel chalks, colored pencils, and acrylic on canvas. She hopes her art can highlight a little bit of the color and beauty in the world around us.
Erik’s passion for chalk art began more than a decade ago in the driveway of his suburban Pittsburgh home, when his then-toddler-aged daughters, Jaycie and Jenna, first asked him to draw Mickey, Cinderella, Elmo and Eeyore. Those young art directors were very demanding and wanted more and more elaborate pieces. Erik soon became known as “The Chalking Dad” among his neighbors.
Today, Erik — who in real life is a Certified Public Accountant working in corporate finance — is also a certified “master” chalk artist in the Florida Chalk Artist Association. He participates in street painting festivals around the country — and even internationally — where he joins other artists in creating large-scale, elaborate chalk drawings over several days. Erik especially enjoys drawing portraits of celebrities and sports heroes.
Jan Riggins is an artist from Fort Worth, Texas. Her love of art started with watercolors, but once she discovered chalk art, her passion soon shifted and she now spends most of her free time on the ground drawing. Jan enjoys creating anamorphic (3D) chalk art pieces that are fun and interactive.
Janet P Tombros
Jan P Tombros’ art reflects the broad cross-cultural influence that comes from her extensive travel experiences. From the Brazilian tropics to the surrounding riches of Sicilian antiquity, Janet’s vivid color palette reflects these carefree cultures. As a certified “Master” Street Painter with Florida Chalk Artist Association, Janet travels extensively throughout the United States as a featured artist for Chalk Festival and as a Street Painting/Chalk instructor at Schools, Colleges, and Art Museums.
“I like to pick an image that will draw comments from the spectators. This interaction keeps me energized while I am working. People are an integral part of my performance.”
Art and design are passions, and painting is therapy; being a street painter and mural artist is a workout. The first thing I remember as an artist was drawing Peter Criss, The drummer from Kiss. This had to be way back in the 70s? It must have been terrible, but I remember my family telling me how great it was. Well, that’s all I needed to encourage me to keep going. Over the years, I have always loved drawing and creating. But what got my fire burning was doing chalk festivals. The first one I did was so much fun and exciting. I also recently discovered painting advertisements on storefront windows. Then the next thing I found was painting Murals. I am very passionate about anything I can paint or draw.
Jesse LuBera is a professional brand illustrator and large format artist who enjoys working in all mediums of art, from oils to digital to outdoor murals. A Pennsylvania native, he has worked with chalk professionally for over 5 years, creating pieces for art festivals and private events up and down the east coast. He particularly enjoys the challenge of creating large anamorphic (“3D”) street paintings and collaborating with his wife and fellow chalk artist, Erica.
Jessi Queen is an award-winning artist and website designer based in Atlanta, GA. For over ten years she has been drawing at festivals all around the US and Europe. She is passionate about chalk art and enjoys bringing the sidewalks to life with fantasy and nature-themed portraits. With her partner Zach Herndon, she leads The GA Chalk Artists Guild in hopes to share the chalk art medium with her community. Her creative reach includes large clients as well as small events in and around Atlanta. When she is not chalking, you can find her spending time with her family and dachshund.
Joel Yau takes his passion for street painting around the world, participating as a featured artist in festivals across North and Central America, Europe, and Asia. An award-winning street painter, Joel masterfully creates these large-format ephemeral art images on the ground, delighting audiences with colorful, stunning portraits and awe-inducing 3-Dimensional anamorphic designs that seem to come to life and lift right off the ground.
Joel enjoys traveling as boundless inspiration and gives back to the community through his various artistic pursuits. He has a BFA degree in Illustration from San Francisco Academy of Art University and a BFA in Visual Communication from the University of the Philippines. Joel is an Art Director and a Fine Artist from Marin County, San Francisco Bay Area. See more of his work at studioyau.com
Ken Mullen (Mellow Monkey Art) is an award-winning chalk artist, street painter, and muralist from West Palm Beach, FL. Whether working alone, with his children, or as half of the 3D chalking duo “Chalk Guys”, he has been creating artwork for over 30 years.
Professionally certified as a “Maestro” level chalk artist by the Florida Chalk Artist’s Association, Ken has had the privilege of traveling for his artwork and has performed at festivals and events throughout the United States. He often chooses portraits as his subject matter, enjoying the challenge of capturing recognizable details on often difficult surfaces. He is also known for creating large 3D images, often with a whimsical or pop-culture motif. He enjoys the performance nature of street painting and loves the crowd reaction when the skewed lines and shapes on the ground transform into a 3D image before their eyes.
Ken has passed on his love of art to both of his daughters, and he looks forward to working side-by-side with them for years to come.
Kimberly is a graphic designer at Stryker and a freelance artist/dog adopter on the side. Today, Kimberly works in almost every medium: graphite, colored pencil, pastel, chalk, acrylic, oil, watercolor, and photography. The beauty of using various mediums is the chance to explore different ideas. She loves being able to express her love for nature, animals, and the beauty and strength of women through the chalk medium. Above all, Kimberly is an artist seeking to inspire others as those special people in her life have done for her.
“You Dream It, I’ll Make It!” Hello, I’m Kumpa and I make dreams come true! If there’s something you can imagine, I can make it, No Problem! I use a variety of mediums, including styrofoam, fiberglass, epoxy, wood, acrylic, paint and even chalk! I’ve made sculptures for companies like Disney, Busch Gardens, Frenchy’s, Ringling Brothers Circus, The Green Iguana and more! I’ve also made all sorts of things for wonderful people with amazing imaginations! What Can I make for you?
Lori Hughes (aka Lori Figment) is a 2003 art graduate of Youngstown State University who now resides in the Columbus, Ohio area. After visiting the 2005 Via Colori festival in Columbus never having done something on that scale on pavement, she knew she wanted to give it a try – so in 2006, her passion for chalk art began. Since then, Lori has participated in chalk events in OH, MI, MN, PA, GA, NY, FL, and even Canada where she travels with her wife and son. When she is not chalking, she is creating custom-painted shoes and purses.
Twenty-five years ago my employer at the time asked me if I wanted to be their sponsored artist in a sidewalk chalk event in Orlando. I had never drawn that large before and considered it a challenge.
Through all the rain, pain, and mental strain I am still producing sidewalk art. I consider this a form of Zen art. You start with a blank sidewalk, create artwork, and let nature (sometimes the festival) take it back to its previous state. Every festival gives me new techniques that are learned from the best artists in the world.
I love Monet’s artwork and as such create my artwork with an impressionistic feel. More photos have appeared in magazines of my chalk boxes than my artwork. They are a photographer’s dream, organized colors of fancies that will be created. Most of my creations have an underlining meaning for the interpretation of the viewer, animals and landscapes are the focus.
Sandy Forseth is inspired by the power of community through art, music and play. For five years, she has been creating interactive environments where children of all ages & abilities are welcome.
One festival participant considers her “the giant, color book lady!” Come join in the colorFULL ChalkUNITY, community fun! See you on the pavement! Sandy is a certified Child Life Specialist by trade. She has worked with children & families all of her career. Most recently she made the transition to work with children & ‘wellness’,including mindfulness.
Sandy is a big kid at heart & loves to play; hockey, pickleball, kayak, bicycle, hike & outdoor fun! In her free time, she also loves to read, sew & create!
As an artist, Shawn McCann is one who loves to explore the relationship of art, space, and interaction. Having graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design with a BFA, Shawn has grown into a multi-media, multi-disciplinary artist whose work explores color, texture, form, and content. This approach has led to the many areas in which Shawn’s work has encompassed including; 2D and 3D street painting, murals, fine art, children’s books, installation art, temporary and permanent art and commercial illustration. From the creation of children’s books, the installation of a temporary 4000 square foot mural at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, to a mural at IIT Bombay in Mumbai, India, each work of art is produced with a fresh set of ideas, parameters, and ways in which to enliven the space within its grasp. His work has won numerous awards and is held in private and public collections, and has also been featured twice at the LA Times Festival of Books as a featured illustrator.
Tiffany Kelly is a native Steel City girl and a 1996 graduate of West Allegheny High School. She moved to Dayton Ohio in 2000 where she currently resides with her husband and three children. After taking many years off from art, Tiffany stumbled into sidewalk chalk art while her children played outside. What started as a way to play with her kids soon grew into an exciting adventure of art and travel! Since starting her journey in 2012, Tiffany has traveled to various cities in Ohio and has gone as far as Clearwater, Florida. Some of her biggest clients have been the Dayton Dragons Professional Baseball Team and the City of Kettering. Her style tends to stay on the whimsical style, bringing beloved cartoon characters to life on the pavement. When she’s not chalking, Tiffany enjoys crocheting and spending time with her family. She is thrilled to be back in Pittsburgh, and thanks South Side Works for hosting this exciting event.
Mn-based artist, Allison Severson, has been honing her chalk and mural skills over the past five years. Originally an illustrator and house painter, Allison has blended her drawing and painting skills with her new mode of expression. She enjoys all aspects of the creative process but relishes in the surprise and novelty of a large mural or colorful chalk drawing. Allison has assisted with a few large scale ceiling murals at Minnesota’s Largest Candy store in Jordan, MN, designed and painted an entryway mural for the clients of PROP in Eden Prairie, MN, created a design for the Hennepin Theatre Trust’s “Art Connects Us” billboard initiative and has continued to design and create Community Art in Eden Prairie for the past few years
Zachary Herndon is an award-winning chalk artist. He has a passion for making new friends and founded the GA Chalk Artists Guild with his wife Jessi Queen in 2014 to help promote street painting in GA. He is known for his pop art style and engagement with his 3D murals. His energy is contagious and he brings a smile wherever he goes. Zach has been featured in chalk art festivals from coast to coast and a few in Europe. He lives in Atlanta with Jessi, their two wild children, and a spunky dachshund.
Food & Fun
A portion of all truck sales will benefit Riverlife.
McFeeley's Arctic Ice
Root + Bloom
Smoking Ghost BBQ
Steel City Selfies
Food & Fun
A portion of all truck sales will benefit Riverlife.
Local Brews & Cocktails
Strange Roots Brewing
Gordo's Tacos & Tequila
Entertainment & Activities
The Roof Acoustic
P.G.H. Party Creations
Free Face Painting & Airbrush Tattoos
Street & Circus Performers
Since 1999, Riverlife has worked to create, activate, and celebrate Pittsburgh’s riverfronts, connecting people through exceptional places and experiences. Riverlife has been a leader in building a community vision for over 15 miles and 1,055 acres of Downtown riverfront parks, trails, and public open space.