The Miller Art Museum, in collaboration with the Door County Library, Boys and Girls Club of Door County and the Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center (SBVC), is pleased to feature artists John Soukup (Cedar Rapids, IA), Shelley Heath (Brookfield, WI) and Kimberly Wood (St. Joseph, MI) next weekend for Chalk the Bay, part of the festivities taking place for Sturgeon Bay’s Harvest Festival Saturday.
John Soukup is a graduate from University of Northern Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in graphic design. In the evening, he paints on canvases and during summers he travels the Midwest creating with chalk. Soukup’s artwork has been seen across the United States, from the Whitney Museum in New York to private collections in Alaska. He has done work for companies including Marvel, Lucas Arts and Cartoon Network.
“We have a fantastic range of styles represented with this year’s selected artists,” writes Elizabeth Meissner-Gigstead, Miller Art Museum executive director. “John’s work is reminiscent of American artist Keith Haring, whose celebrated pop art and graffiti-like work grew out of the New York City street culture of the 1980s; it’s bold and playful and you can see his graphic design skills shine. Equally as exciting is the work Kimberly and Shelley who’s styles are hyperreal—Kimberly has an exquisite eye for detail—and Shelley’s unique style, while still vibrant, tending to be more painterly and whimsical.”
Shelley, representing our great state of Wisconsin during this year’s event, brings experience as an architectural illustrator, portrait artist, and plein air painting in addition to her work as a chalk artist. “I really enjoy many genres, and have found that my students [she is an art teacher at Granville Lutheran School in Milwaukee] enjoy paper arts such as quilling, origami, and papier-mâché; my experiences with chalk art have definitely broadened my horizons, especially doing things large scale or three-dimensionally,” Heath writes.
Kimberly Wood is definitely not a newbie to the chalking scene; she has been creating street art using chalk for the last six years. “Depending on the specific event and whether or not there is a theme, I tend to focus on portraiture featuring women, nature elements and animals, incorporating vibrant colors and details.”
“We are thrilled to be able to bring street art to downtown Sturgeon Bay,” Gigstead continued. Art is a powerful catalyst for public and community engagement and the fact that our tight-knit community here in Sturgeon Bay has embraced this collaborative event is both exciting and encouraging. I’m hopeful the community will take this opportunity to participate in the event and engage with John, Shelley and Kimberly—amazing professional artists—during their time here for Chalk the Bay.”
Chalk the Bay made its debut in 2017 as a component of the Sturgeon Bay’s popular event celebrating all things fall, Harvest Festival. A collaboration between the Door County Library, Miller Art Museum, Boys and Girls Club of Door County and the SBVC, the event aims to create a fun, family-friendly event that cultivates creativity. Building on the success of the previous events is a community chalking contest with four categories: Youth (ages 8-12), Teen (ages 13-17), Adult (ages 18+), and Family. Chalking is set to kick-off at 9am; chalk will be provided. Awards will be announced at 2pm for each of the categories in front of the Sturgeon Bay Branch of the Door County Library located at 107 S. 4th Avenue. Attendees can also expect to see artist Mark Paul—a.k.a the “balloon guy”—twisting long narrow balloons into fun characters ranging from princesses to dolls and fairies as well as unicorns, guitars, swords and shields.
The events of Chalk the Bay will be going on rain or shine. To learn more about the chalking competition or Chalk the Bay, visit www.DoorCountyLibrary.org/chalk-the-bay or call the Miller Art Museum office at 920.746.0707.