Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Venice Won't Let Chalk Art Become Dust in the Wind

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Venice Won't Let Chalk Art Become Dust in the Wind

Article excerpt

VENICE

A few years back, art aficionados saw red after Sarasota ordered street paintings power-washed away just hours after the close of the Sarasota Chalk Festival.

A group of Venice business owners and residents do not want that to happen after this week's inaugural festival in Venice.

They presented a petition to the City Council, which on Wednesday voted to allow three-dimensional artwork to remain for a month after the festival ends on Monday.

Merchants on West Miami Avenue in the downtown shopping district say that the artwork will attract visitors and boost business.

"Let it stay" was a continuing plea on a petition signed by 54 shopkeepers and residents.

"Don't destroy such an asset," said Edward Machado, of The Taste of Venice.

"Let it work for us."

Denise Kowal, founder and president of the chalk festival, said the city's decision showed that Venice leaders want the festival to be a success. Leaving works in place will give more area residents and tourists the opportunity to enjoy the art. …

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