Art in the Street: 25 Years of the Pasadena Chalk Festival

March 29 through August 13, 2017

Art in the Street: 25 Years of the Pasadena Chalk Festival

The Pasadena Chalk Festival, one of the area’s most popular arts attractions, will celebrate its silver anniversary in 2017. The festival began as a small event with a humble launch in front of Pasadena City Hall in 1993. The unique event now includes about 600 visual artists a year and attracts tens of thousands of visitors to Paseo Colorado over the two-day festival weekend. Tom Coston and Patricia Hurley of Light Bringer Project, founders and organizers of the Pasadena Chalk Festival, will team with PMH to produce an exhibit exploring the history and impact of the festival's medium.

This centuries-old style of street art, also known as pavement art and street painting, can also be viewed as a type of performance art. Artists use impermanent materials such as pastel chalk to create a variety of images and designs on streets and boulevards, sidewalks, plazas, and public spaces. For the past twenty-five years, the Pasadena Chalk Festival has celebrated this medium, attracting artists and design teams from many regions of the country. Leading art schools, museums, and cultural centers are also represented in the annual event.

exhibits_chalk-2017-2The creation and installation of chalk murals, some of which are site specific, and chalk drawing demonstrations will be featured. Photographs, a video history, and artists’ stories will be included. Major accomplishments highlighted in the exhibit include breaking the Guinness Book of World Record in 2010 and presenting centerpiece artists like the Aboriginal team from Alice Springs and their “dream painting.” A special “tools of the trade” display will give visitors an inside look at the art form’s process and techniques. Artists will demonstrate chalk drawing, and the public will be encouraged to join in (chalk materials provided) on specific dates throughout the run of the exhibition.

City of Pasadena logoThe exhibition is made possible in part by the Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division.

General Exhibition Info

Hours: Wednesdays through Sundays, 12:00 to 5:00 pm. Please note that the Museum is closed on all major holidays. The Museum's hours can be affected by the schedule at the Rose Bowl Stadium and special events. Check our calendar for specific dates.

Tickets (available in Museum Store): $7 General; $6 Students & Seniors; Members receive free admission for 2 & Children under 12 are free.


Non-commercial photography is allowed unless otherwise noted.


Service animals only are allowed inside the buildings.

Exhibition-Related Programs

Pasadena Museum of History is pleased to offer a variety of exhibition-related programming. Please visit the Museum Calendar & Events page on this website for up-to-date information, or sign up for our monthly newsletter.

Exhibition Tours

Staff-led or curator-led tours are available for some exhibitions. To inquire about an exhibition tour, please contact us at 626.577.1660, ext. 26 or

Concurrent Exhibition


The Art of Getting There: Railroad Inspired ArtistryThe Art of Getting There: Railroad Inspired Artistry, (March 29 through August 13) will celebrate the history and beauty of railroads. Artists, photographers, and countless others have tried their hands at making their own rendition of railroad culture. Traditional art such as paintings and photographs, advertising art, sculpture, and carvings will be on view in this exhibit. Read more...


Images: Gloria Ing & Team, Masquerade Party, 2016. Photo by Brian Biery; Shaina Joel. Liz Taylor, 2016. Photo by Brian Biery; Yoko Mazza. #40 at Speed, 2013. Oil on canvas, 24 x 36 inches.