Pavement Picassos: Belfast’s Chalk Walk leaves waterfront sidewalk brighter than ever

Posted:  Sunday, June 25, 2017 - 5:15pm

BELFAST — The sidewalk in Belfast’s Heritage Park got a colorful, albeit temporary, makeover Saturday thanks to the city’s first Chalk Walk. The event, which was hosted by Waterfall Arts, was supposed to take place a week earlier, but got rained out. Despite light rain at the start of the event on June 24, several artists were determined to work regardless of the weather.

Fortunately the early sprinkles didn’t translate into a day of rain, and the only water on scene was in bottles and the bay.

Event organizer Bridget Matros serves as the Youth and Family Outreach coordinator for Waterfall Arts and runs a number of events for a program called All Ages Arts Happenings (AAAH!). The Chalk Walk is one of those events, and was inspired by other chalk-themed events nationwide.

With chalk walks appearing all over the country, Matros said that outside of Boston it’s not something commonly seen in New England.

“A lot of people have never heard of such a thing,” she said. “There aren’t many Chalk Walks in the Northeast at all.”

Matros explained that most of the sidewalks in the Northeast are textured for safety in the icy winter months, “which isn’t really great for chalking.”

The sidewalks in Heritage Park on the other hand, are the perfect backdrop to the vibrant chalk art creations.

Artists reserved their 5x5-foot squares of pavement ahead of time, and were provided with the majority of tools for the trade.

Adult artists were charged with coloring the main sidewalk, while younger participants decorated a smaller path.

The methods of creation varied from person to person, some started with sketches while others worked freehand.

Regardless of the technique used to get there, the collaborative end result was a sidewalk every bit as colorful as the people who walk it.

For additional photos click here.

Erica Thoms can be reached at