In celebration of Oak Ridge’s 75th anniversary, the 19th annual Oak Ridge Street Painting Festival will have two “firsts.”
The October 13 event will be held in historic Jackson Square, and it will offer the first-ever Ed Westcott Challenge for artists interested in chalking a creative interpretation of a famous photograph by Manhattan Project photographer Ed Westcott.
The festival will, as always, offer prizes for artists in each category. But this year, artists in any category can win an all-ages, all-categories bonus prize as part of the Ed Westcott Challenge, a press release said.
Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Oak Ridge and a fundraiser for Roane State Community College scholarships, the annual art extravaganza will be held on Saturday, October 13, at historic Jackson Square. Chalking will begin at 8 a.m. Categories are available for all ages, teams, and families. Artist participation is free, the press release said.
Prizes for each category are $75 for first place, $25 for second place, and $15 for third place. A $300 prize will be given for Best in Show, and a $200 prize will be given for a People’s Choice Award.
Artists in any category can compete for a $25 bonus prize by accepting the Ed Westcott Challenge, the press release said. To enter, chalk artists will creatively interpret renowned photographer Ed Westcott’s famous “War Ends” photo. One $25 prize will be given for the best, most creative interpretation of the “War Ends” photo.
The key to the Ed Westcott Challenge is creativity, the press release said. Judges will not be looking for tracings or direct reproductions. Instead, judges will expect artists to put a creative spin on the “War Ends” photo, perhaps interpreting it in an impressionistic or avant-garde style while preserving the warmth and joy shown in the famous photo, the release said.
“Ed Westcott is an Oak Ridge legend whose contributions to the history of the Manhattan Project are priceless,” said Leslie England, president of Oak Ridge’s first Rotary club. “The ‘War Ends’ photo represents a spirit of community and history that makes Oak Ridge such a special place. It’s a difficult task to creatively interpret such an iconic image, but we know festival artists love a challenge!”
Registration for artists and sponsors is open. Artist participation is free thanks to event sponsors. In addition, the event raises funds that provide scholarships to Roane State students who otherwise could not afford to attend college. More than $200,000 has been raised since the first festival in 2000.
Festival sponsors purchase sidewalk squares for the artists. The squares are marked with the sponsor’s name.
To register as an artist or become a sponsor, visit www.roanestate.edu/streetpaintingfestival.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
This press release and photos were submitted by Owen Driskill.
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