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El Paso's 3rd Annual Public Art Festival: Chalk the Block 2010 Starts October 8th

Xochitl Burciaga

Xochitl Burciaga

The City of El Paso’s Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) in partnership with the El Paso Community Foundation will host the third annual Chalk-the-Block Public Art Festival to be held October 8-10, 2010, in Downtown El Paso (Arts Festival Plaza, Cleveland Square, San Jacinto Plaza, Pioneer Plaza Park).  Admission will be FREE!

“The event will showcase various professional and emergent artists, who will be using chalk to create works of art at Arts Festival and San Jacinto Plaza,” said Sean McGlynn, MCAD Director for the City of El Paso. “Additionally, the event always places ephemeral public art components which transform the environmental dynamic of the downtown area.  This year, we are happy to have large-scale mechanical sculpture, The Hand of Man by artist Christian Ristow and hydraulic-kenetic sculpture, The Heron Project by artist Christina Sporrong,” McGlynn added. Artists statements below.

El Pasoans may head to Arts Festival Plaza from 5:30 pm to 10:00 pm on Friday, October 8th, to get a glimpse feature chalk artists begin their masterpieces.  The fun continues on October 9th, beginning at 10:00 am. The public is invited to view artists as they create works of art beginning at 10:00 am. Headlining musical talent will be Japanese Action Comic Punk Band, Peelander-Z, performing at 8:00 pm.  Live music begins at  10:00 am and goes on until 10:00 pm. Chalk-the-Block will also host fun events for people of all ages, including acrobats/aerialist performers, large interactive puppets, fire breathers,  a KIDZONE, a skate park, an interactive chalk area, face painting, art vendors, and  great food! Sunday, October 10th, schedule of events coming soon.

Public Art Components

The Hand of Man – Christian Ristow – Bio

Christian Ristow is a Los Angeles-based artist whose kinetic sculpture and robot performances feature a provocative mix of post-apocalyptic mayhem and playful iconoclasm.  Engineered for all-out robotic supremacy, Ristow’s mechanical creatures such as The Subjugator, The Drunken Master, and The Manipulatrix offer a strange new vision of the evolving relationship between man and machine as they challenge the boundaries of art itself.

Raised in San Francisco, the son of a plastic surgeon and a fine-artist, Ristow developed an early and keen interest in the intersection between aesthetics and structure.

Ristow’s web site:

The Heron Project by Christine Sporrong – Artist Statement

I have been working with metal since College, and was always drawn to kinetic and robotic work. I am inspired by large fiery art, performance, and sound, and have tried to merge these elements many times. With the Heron Project, an idea that came after watching shipyard cranes in Oakland, I combined my passion for performance and fire. The Heron project is a 34′ tall kinetic heron-like sculpture that serves as a public and performance playground. It’s slow motion is elegant and mimics that of a graceful bird.
Through my current project I am continuing my investigation of large-scale fire art, while also incorporating sound. I am using pulse jet engines as instruments and facilitating the audience to play them in a fiery cacophonous orchestra.

Bio – Christina has a BFA from Parson School of Design in NYC and owns and operates a metal fabrication shop and forge, Spitfire Forge, in Taos since 1998. She teaches Women’s Welding Workshops both nationally and locally to help empower other women to tackle this awesome medium. She is also an aerial performer and works with Wise Fool NM.

Sporrong’s web sites- or

Headlining Band- Peelander-Z

Peelander-Z, the Japanese Action Comic Punk Band based in NYC, was originally formed in 1998 by Peelander-Yellow, Peelander-Red, and Peelander-Blue, after meeting in New York City (although they’ll tell you they’re all from the Z area on the planet Peelander). Peelander-Green was welcomed in July 2008 after Blue left the band.

Peelander-Z has appeared at major music festivals including Bonnaroo, CMJ and SXSW, and played with artists such as Buckethead, Electric Six, Particles, The Vibrators, and Guitar Wolf. Peelander-Z has also been featured on TV programs like VH1’s Best Week Ever, Comedy Central’s Upright Citizens Brigade, Spike TV’s MXC: Most Extreme Challenge, and Anime Network. They also often perform at Anime conventions and festivals all over the US, as well as at Kaiju Big Battel.

Chalk-the-Block 2010 is brought to you by the City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department, the El Paso Community Foundation and the following sponsors:  El Paso Times, HB Electronics, Airport Printing, Peter Pipper Pizza, Burger King, Ripe Eatery, Jarritos/Novamex, JDW Insurance, Southwest Land Development Services, The Sanders Foundation, MIMCO (Paso Properties, L.P.) Hunt Family Foundation, Transtelco, Sierra Mortgage Corporation, Mills Plaza Properties L.P., W. Silver Recycling Inc. Eastside Dental Care, Downtown Management District, El Paso Public Library, Texas Commission on the Arts, El Paso Convention and Visitors Bureau, UTEP, El Paso Skatepark Association, Drifter Modern Dinner, El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Centers, Commonwealth Pub, , UTEP.

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Xochitl Burciaga

Xochitl Burciaga

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