Pastel chalk on sidewalk
(4' by 8')
© Ron Orpitelli 2019
My first attempt at drawing on the sidewalk (as a grownup anyway) took place at the 2019 Luna Park Chalk Art Festival. Held at Backesto Park
in the Luna Park neighborhood of San Jose, CA. The neighborhood is named after the Luna Park amusement park built by Audley Ingersoll
of Ingersoll's Amusement in 1906 with financing from the San Jose Street Car Company as a way of bringing more customers to the area.
The original amusement park, baseball stadium and public park operated from early 1907 until it was closed in 1921 and redeveloped into
Backesto Park and its surrounding residential neighborhood that still informally bears the name Luna Park.
I wanted to honor the original Luna Park in San Jose through my chalk art, but discovered that there are no known photographs of the area
from during the park's heyday. So I took my inspiration from vintage carnival art from another Luna Park, this one at Coney Island in New
York. The design and colors are based on carnival wagons of the era.
It was a wonderful experience drawing in front of hundreds of festival attendees. My favorite comment was from a little boy who really reacted
to the Moon's face in my design. He exclaimed "I Love the Moon! He's sneezing!!" Until he said it, I had never thought that my Moon was
sneezing, so I asked the boy "Why do you think the Moon is sneezing?" He gleefully answered "Because of all the chalk!!!"
2019 Luna Park Chalk Art Festival!
An annual event held at Backesto Park in San Jose, CA, this
festival of chalk art is sponsored by:
Luna Park Arts Foundation
The Foundation provides free and low cost opportunities for
the community to come together to participate in creative
projects. These activities include the Chalk Art Festival,
interactive workshops at schools, libraries and parks, and
interactive chalk art areas at local events. The Foundation
also raises money to provide grants to K-12 visual /
performing arts programs in local schools and nonprofit
youth programs, as well as stipend opportunities for local
artists. For more information, visit: www.lunaparkarts.org.