2nd Thomasian Chalk Festival: Discovering the Philosophy of Chalk Art

Manila Bulletin, March 15, 2004 | Go to article overview

2nd Thomasian Chalk Festival: Discovering the Philosophy of Chalk Art


The National Arts Month celebrates Philippine creative imagination every February. As a fitting culminating activity to the month-long celebration, the Museum of Arts and Sciences of the University of Santo Tomas presented the Thomasian Chalk Festival (TCF), an inter-school chalk art competition, highlighting the significance of art and the role of culture as the keystone to development.

The TCF was patterned after the chalk festivals in Western Europe where the art of street painting has been a long tradition. The philosophy of chalk art is based on the concept that people are drawn to the ephemeral nature of the art form, which lends a certain vision and purpose to the activity. With this, the temporality of the artwork focuses the viewer on the importance of the creative process rather than the finished product. Hence, doing chalk art is a kind of performance art where the emphasis is placed on the experience.

ROOTS OF DREAMS Recently, the TCF jammed the area from the Arch of the Centuries to the Benavidez Monument with over 700 college students from different Metro Manila schools, comprising the 142 entries to the competition. The chalk drawings, with the theme Roots of Dreams, were artistic expressions and critical interpretations of our identity as Filipinos and its significance to humanity. This link to our cultural heritage becomes the roots or foundation of our being, which will inspire the promise of the future and the fulfillment of our dreams. Each chalk drawing measuring 7 x 7 feet, executed on-the-spot by the participants, converted the streets of the University into colorful temporary galleries.

COMPETITION WINNERS The competition ran from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p. …

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