Via Colori Street Painting Festivals

Via Colori is the modern day expression of a centuries-old art form. Street painting was first recorded in Italy in the 16th Century, and now street painting festivals are held throughout the world. Founded by Rick Compton in 1994, Via Colori street painting festivals are used in the United States to raise funds for not-for-profit organizations. The events now raise hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for nonprofits. Via Colori is owned, supported, and licensed by Compton.

How do Via Colori street painting festivals work? Hundreds of artists gather and create large-scale artworks on the street using chalk. Artists are sponsored by businesses or individuals. After expenses, the money raised goes to nonprofit organizations. Via Colori is founded on a spirit of cooperation, not competitiveness, as a collected expression of artists working together to support a cause. Via Colori street painting festivals have been held in Houston, Texas; Elizabethtown, Kentucky; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Glendale, Arizona; Seaside/Sandestin, Florida; and Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Via Colori was first held in Seaside in 1998, and was later moved to Grand Boulevard at Sandestin. Funds raised by the festival benefited the Seaside School. Andy participated in 1998 and 1999 while still an art student at Northwest Florida State College, and again in 2006 before he began working as a professional artist. Please join us on a trip down memory lane, which includes meeting Miley Cyrus.

 Andy’s first time to participate. He was sponsored by Hawkins & Arnold art gallery. (Seaside – April 1998)

Andy’s first time to participate. He was sponsored by Hawkins & Arnold art gallery. (Seaside – April 1998)

 Andy (age 20) working hard on his street painting. (Seaside – April 1998)

Andy (age 20) working hard on his street painting. (Seaside – April 1998)

 Andy’s second time to participate. He was sponsored by Hawkins & Arnold art gallery again. Here’s our daughter Taylor (age 2) posing with Andy’s painting, which wasn’t quite finished. (Seaside – April 1999)

Andy’s second time to participate. He was sponsored by Hawkins & Arnold art gallery again. Here’s our daughter Taylor (age 2) posing with Andy’s painting, which wasn’t quite finished. (Seaside – April 1999)

 Here’s our daughter Taylor in Seaside. The landscape has changed a lot over the years, especially with the addition of the airstream trailers. (Seaside – April 1999)

Here’s our daughter Taylor in Seaside. The landscape has changed a lot over the years, especially with the addition of the airstream trailers. (Seaside – April 1999)

 Andy’s third time to participate. He was sponsored by 30A Radio. (Seaside – October 2006)

Andy’s third time to participate. He was sponsored by 30A Radio. (Seaside – October 2006)

 The “paint” is actually chalk mixed with water. (Seaside – October 2006)

The “paint” is actually chalk mixed with water. (Seaside – October 2006)

 Via Colori was a little exciting this year. It just so happened that Miley Cyrus and her family were vacationing in Seaside. (Seaside – October 2006)

Via Colori was a little exciting this year. It just so happened that Miley Cyrus and her family were vacationing in Seaside. (Seaside – October 2006)

 Miley and her family stopped to chat with our family. My mom had her new puppy with us, which our daughter Taylor (age 9) is holding in this photo. Miley, Tish, and Noah took turns holding the puppy. I think they wanted to keep her! (Seaside – October 2006)

Miley and her family stopped to chat with our family. My mom had her new puppy with us, which our daughter Taylor (age 9) is holding in this photo. Miley, Tish, and Noah took turns holding the puppy. I think they wanted to keep her! (Seaside – October 2006)

 Here’s our son Nathan (age 4) holding the puppy, which did not go home with the Cyrus family. Ha ha! (Seaside – October 2006)

Here’s our son Nathan (age 4) holding the puppy, which did not go home with the Cyrus family. Ha ha! (Seaside – October 2006)

 This was back when Miley (age 13) was better known as Hannah Montana. She was nice enough to pose for a photo with our daughter Taylor. (Seaside – October 2006)

This was back when Miley (age 13) was better known as Hannah Montana. She was nice enough to pose for a photo with our daughter Taylor. (Seaside – October 2006)

Lori