Houston Via Colori Plans 50 Foot Chalk Drawing at 2018 Street Painting Festival

More than 200 artists will create chalk masterpieces when Houston Via Colori® The Street Painting Festival returns to City Hall.
More than 200 artists will create chalk masterpieces when Houston Via Colori® The Street Painting Festival returns to City Hall. Photo courtesy of The Center for Hearing and Speech
Sure, we're all bummed that the Houston Astros were eliminated in the American League Championship Series, but if there's any team that can rebound it's our beloved 'Stros. Until next season, though, we've got a chance to see pitcher Chris Devenski showing off a different set of skills. He's been named the celebrity spokesperson for the Houston Via Colori® The Street Painting Festival.

Devenski, aka The Dragon, is going to walk the walk, and we'll be able to catch him chalking his own creation on one of the squares outside City Hall. "In planning we knew that his art was more on the graffiti side," says Fernanda Gratton, marketing and public relations manager for presenter and beneficiary the Center for Hearing and Speech. She says his design will be a surprise, and they're very excited about his participation.

Everything's bigger in the Lone Star State and the festival is embracing that concept with something new: a massive 50 foot by 24 foot Texas-sized mural by Houston artist Tim Walker. Gratton says he's a very loved artist and veteran of the festival, and he'll do something with the theme, "Deep in the Art of Texas."

Other returning artists include Cecelia Linayao, David Zinn, Margarita Botello, Jessi Queen, Alba Amezcua and possibly somebody in your family. Patton tells us that the Via Bambini family zone lets kids purchase a chance to undertake their own chalk drawings, albeit on a smaller scale, as a way to get in on the action while also supporting the cause.

click to enlarge
Houston Astros pitcher Chris Devenski's got talent on the mound; now we have a chance to check out his artistic abilities.
Photo courtesy of The Center for Hearing and Speech
The street painting festival raises more than $400,000 annually, making it an important fundraiser that helps the Center for Hearing and Speech each year assist more than 8,500 children who have hearing loss.

It's a fun event, with live music on three stages and, if the weather holds up, makes for a nice day outside. The festival goes on, sprinkle or shine, but if the weather prognosticators predict heavy rains then check social media as organizers might have to move the festival to another location.

And if you're digging the cause, and want to kick it up a notch, buy tickets to the ultra-swanky VIP Lounge with complimentary food, drink and entertainment. Gratton says they're still working out the details, but Kendra Scott is definitely returning to the VIP Lounge.

Clients of the Center for Hearing and Speech get into the festival for free, as do children and students. Many of the parents sign up to volunteer, turning this into a reunion of sorts for the kids and families who have benefited from the center's audiologists, teachers and speech-language pathologists. High five for that.

The Houston Via Colori® The Street Painting Festival is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. November 17 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. November 18, outside City Hall, 900 Smith, 713-523-3633, free to $40. centerhearingandspeech.org/via-colori.
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Susie Tommaney is a contributing writer who enjoys covering the lively arts and culture scene in Houston and surrounding areas, connecting creative makers with the Houston Press readers to make every week a great one.
Contact: Susie Tommaney