The Lake Worth Street Painting Festival is one of the most famous and unusual festivals in South Florida, finding its way through a virtual landscape for the first time in 27 years. The changes will allow you to see some incredible work as its happening.
Maryanne Webber is the Executive Director and Artist Coordinator. She says the artists will start working Saturday morning like always, but the patrons won't get to see the outcomes until social media posts begin at 3 p.m. that day. You will be able to find the pieces using the hashtags #LakeWorthStreetPaintingFestival and #StreetPaintingFestival as well as the Lake Worth Street Festival's Facebook and their Instagram pages.
“The street painting festival is typically the largest festival of its kind in the world and we have no shortage of artists. We have over 250 street paintings and over 600 artists who participate, of course we can’t do that this time. But what we have are a select group of artists from different pockets from around the United States,” she said.
That includes areas with inclement weather given the bitter cold and snow that’s swept across the country.
“They will be working outside and in. Oh and then Jennifer Chaparro, she’s in Denver area, and it’s freezing cold area with snow, so she’s going to be working inside as well, she thinks she’s going to do it in the basement, on the basement floor,” Webber said.
Hector Diaz is an artist who has participated almost every year since it started. He says the artists he works closely with have become close over the years, traveling to festivals many times each year, but he hasn’t seen them for a long time.
“I chose to actually host a handful of artists in the driveway so rather than each person doing it in their driveway, we’re kind of having a little mini group, socially distanced of course, and I think it’s about 7 or 8 of us,” he said.
Diaz says the drive is more like a “runway” it’s so large, but it’s still not as big as the space he’s typically given.
“My little piece of real estate is nowhere near as large as the Lake Worth Street,” Diaz said.
While studio artists have thrived on the solitude and quiet, street artists don’t operate in the same way. They are used to feeding off the energy of the crowd, and allowing people to experience the work in a 3-dimensional way.
Diaz in particular has embraced the 3D opportunities in the past, where people can appear to be part of a picture if they stand at the right angle. This year, since the work will be experienced in a 2D fashion, he is considering a 2D approach to make the work present better.
“It seems silly to create something like that to have 5 people pose on it as opposed to you know, a hundred thousand people pose on it, but that may change,” he laughed, explaining his work is often formulated at the last minute.
Regardless of the changes, the event aims to focus on its roots: the art and artists themselves.
“The magic happens on those streets every year and it’s different. And that’s all because of the artists and what they create,” Webber said.