Chalk Art Will Be Just One Part of Chalkfest 2024

annual summer event at UWEC will now include artist market

Tom Giffey, photos by Andrea Paulseth

WATCH WHILE THEY WORK. Organizers are hoping more than 200 chalk artists take part in this summer's Chalkfest on the UW-Eau Claire campus.
WATCH WHILE THEY WORK. Organizers are hoping more than 200 chalk artists take part in this summer's Chalkfest on the UW-Eau Claire campus.

For more than a decade and a half, Chalkfest has brought an explosion of colorful outdoor artwork to sidewalks in Eau Claire each summer. Hosted by UW-Eau Claire on the campus mall since 2015, this year the free annual artistic event – which is slated for Saturday, July 27 – will include something new: an artist market to complement all those ephemeral concrete creations.

While the sidewalk squares themselves will have to stay put – sorry, they’re needed by campus pedestrians the other 364 days of the year – visitors will be able to peruse and purchase other creations sold by local artists and artisans. Vendors interested in peddling their original wares at the artist market are encouraged to fill out an online application for a 10-foot-by-10-foot vendor space by Friday, May 24.

Visitors can expect as many as 15 vendors selling a variety of art, said Nicole Rindone, major events and conferences manager for University Centers. The artists market will be yet another draw for community members who are invited to enjoy the campus that Saturday, Rindone explained.

In addition to shopping at the artists market, visitors will be able to savor food and drink from a variety of vendors, including Beez Neez, Blugold Eats, Big Papa BBQ, The Fluff Co., Guac n’ Roll, MiMi Cafe, Olson’s Ice Cream, and Richard & Co. Donuts.

Chalkfest 2023.
Chalkfest 2023.

Of course, admiring more than a quarter-mile of chalk art and voting on “Audience Choice” favorites is the main draw. “People love art in this community,” Rindone said, “and I think being able to see people do it live in a relatively comfortable setting, where you can spend part of the day there watching it evolve, is something that we don’t (otherwise) have.”

Originally founded by Volume One in 2008 and held in downtown Eau Claire’s Wilson Park, Chalkfest found a new home and host seven years later. Since then, it’s brought scores of chalk artists and thousands of visitors to the campus mall each summer to enjoy the artwork, sunshine, and riverside views.

There’s space on the campus mall for 212 artists, and Rindone is hopeful the spots will sell out. (Chalk artists have until July 22 to sign up for a square.) Artists will begin checking in and creating their works at 7am on July 27, and the art will be open to the public – as will food vendors and other activities, such as music and family fun, in the campus mall – from 11am to 7pm. In case of inclement weather, the entire event will be moved to the following day: Sunday, July 28.

Chalkfest is co-presented by UW-Eau Claire, Markquart Toyota, and Volume One.

Learn more and keep an eye on the event schedule at