For family fun happenings in Lynchburg, check out the Amazement Square Chalk Art Festival on Saturday, August 24. Enjoy the festival, enter the chalk art contest and take in an award-winning children’s museum.
Amazement Square Chalk Art Festival
The origins of the Amazement Square Riverfront Chalk Festival & Art Contest, says Marketing & Community Relations Director Morgan Kreutz, are rooted in celebrating local artists in addition to providing a family-fun festival. Along with the art contest, there are food trucks, musicians, and kids activities. Open 10am – 2pm, festival admission is free and entrance to Amazement Square is only $5 that day.
This is asphalt art for all ages and abilities. The contest has three levels of competition. Ages 6 – 10 in the beginner division compete for Cafe Amaze gift certificates. Those 11 – 17 vie for cash prizes of $100, $50 and $25 while advanced artists (ages 18+) compete for $1000, $500 and $250.
Registration fees are $10 per artist for beginner/intermediate divisions and $20 for advanced. You can register at the event, but artists can save time with online registration. Children under 6 draw for free.
Chalk Art Contest Rules
The chalk art contest takes place in the Mosaic parking lot on Jefferson Street near Amazement Square. Check-in starts at 9am and drawing begins at 10am. Judging takes place at 1:30pm. Each artist works in a 4’x4’ square and is provided with seven colors of chalk. Artists may bring their own chalk, along with a fixative like hair spray. No other medium is permitted. Work must be suitable for family and public viewing.
About Amazement Square
Located at 27 Ninth Street, Amazement Square offers four floors of hands-on exhibits. Creative kids love The Kaleidoscope Gallery’s Paintbox where young artists paint on the museum’s walls – instead of yours!
Anchoring the museum is Amazement Tower. This indoor play structure extends from top to bottom. Kids burn off steam with slides, ladders, tunnels and a zip line. Along with the exhibit spaces, visit The Hive. Also known as the Genworth Education Center, The Hive features a creativity and engineering Maker Space. After your tour, visit Cafe Amaze for refreshments along with unique and educational merchandise.
Amazement Square is open 10am – 5pm Tuesday – Saturday and 1 – 5pm Sunday. And if your kids are into scouting, bring the troop for one of the Amazing Scouts programs. Additionally, the museum is available for birthday and slumber parties.
Amazement Square began in 1992 when the Junior League of Lynchburg determined a need for a city children’s museum. In 1993 Amazement Square incorporated and formed a board of directors.
The museum purchased the historic JW Wood building in 1995. The building once served as a Confederate Army infirmary in the 1860’s. Amazement Square opened to the public in 2001 and is often credited by locals as an pioneer in Lynchburg’s downtown revitalization.
Art and Awards
Coupled with history and artistic flair is the museum’s CityArt’s project. This 4800 sq. ft. mosaic tile outdoor mural is the largest of its kind in North America. It depicts a narrative history of Lynchburg’s riverfront along the James. You’ll see this incredible mosaic mural at the Amazement Square Chalk Art Festival since it’s located in the Jefferson Street parking lot.
The museum stayed true to the building’s architectural roots while adapting to a new use. The Department of Historic Resources selected Amazement Square as one of the best examples of restoration and adaptation of a historic building in Virginia. And Amazement Square received the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries.