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Friday, 02 September 2016 13:43

Janesville's infusion of art coming to downtown

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Michael Las Casas is the featured artist for Art Infusion, slated for Sept. 10-11, 2016, in Janesville’s Firehouse Park. Michael Las Casas is the featured artist for Art Infusion, slated for Sept. 10-11, 2016, in Janesville’s Firehouse Park. Facebook photo

JANESVILLE -- Chalk artists from throughout the area will be showing off their creative drawings this coming weekend. The annual Art Infusion will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016 at Firehouse Park, located on North Main Street in downtown Janesville.

Residents are welcome to visit the park and work on their own chalk drawing. Christine Rebout, executive director for the Janesville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, said people come up with some creative designs for their drawings.

"Everyone seems to have a different drawing," Rebout said. "We have sculptors who plan out their drawing. We have some people who don’t decide what they’re going to draw until they get down here."

For people who want to put their artistic skills to the test, the event will include a chalk art competition. The cost to participate in the competition is $10, and contestants will receive chalk art pastels, a sponge and gloves. Participants can register by going to janesvillecvb.com or sign up in person the day of the event.

The contest will be judged by a master artist and community artists. The winner will receive $250.

"We provide the kit, so they’re all working with the same supplies," Rebout said. "They can’t bring their own supplies. They pay for quality chalk and supplies that they will need to create their drawing."

This year’s master chalk artist is Michael Las Casas, member of the Color Pencil Society of America and Florida Pleine Aire Artists Association.

Rebout said the master artist usually creates a mural that’s related to the city of Janesville.

 Las Casas will be working on a chalk art mural of the Janesville Performing Arts Center and a Pokemon Go character.

"He will work on the mural the entire two days," Rebout said. "He may have some people do some fill-in work, but he mostly works on the mural himself."

Las Casas will teach a chalk art class at 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, at the Olde Towne Mall, 20 S. Main St. in Janesville. He also will be teaching chalk art classes at several schools in Janesville on Friday.

Art Infusion has been held since 2011. Rebout said the event has been well attended during the past few years.

"We have artists coming from Iowa and Rockford," Rebout said. "The number of spectators usually depends on the weather."

Rebout said the purpose of the event is to help promote the arts in Janesville.

"We wanted to create an awareness and educate people about art," Rebout said. "We want people to come down and create their own drawing. It’s also a way for people to walk through the downtown area and view the art."

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