Welcome to the Avenue of Art - a social-distancing cultural art experience and walking tour open 24/7.
Enjoy the Burns Square area where the sidewalks are painted with images celebrating the Sarasota County Centennial 1921-2021. Organized and curated by the Sarasota Chalk Festival, Avenida de Colores 501c3 cultural arts organization, the experience is self-guided and educational.
Your Avenue of Art walk starts at the corner of Laurel Street and S. Orange Avenue. As you walk south towards The Fountain Kitchen & Wine Bar you will pass over roughly 40 sidewalk paintings. At The Fountain you walk around to the other side and continue the walk on the east side of South Pineapple Avenue, passing over 45 sidewalk paintings to Laurel Street. At Laurel Street you cross the street to Burns Court, passing over 34 sidewalk painting to Selby Lane. The final block, of the walking tour consists of 21 sidewalk paintings from Selby Lane to Oak Street where the Avenue of Art tour ends.
On each painting you will find a QR code affixed to the bottom right corner. With a QR reader app installed on your phone you can open your camera and aim it at the QR code where a link will appear. Just click on the link to open the artwork page for information about the painting and how it celebrates Sarasota County, as well as information on the artists and sponsors. You will also find QR codes for 'more info', 'donate now', and 'take survey'. Please consider supporting us.
Don't have a phone? You can still come, stroll and enjoy the artwork and/or look through the paintings on your computer at home.
Artists of all ages and skill levels participated in this community event. Lori Escalera traveled from California. Lori participated in the Sarasota Chalk Festival since its inauguration in 2007 and every year since. We also had two sisters, age 2 and 4, that did a sun sidewalk painting with handprints and footprints :). Chalk Festival artist Luther Rosebaro (sketch artist) from Sarasota, took up painting during the 3D Illusion Museum in 2020. Luther painted several paintings in the Avenue of Art. Other Chalk Festival artists participated such as Janet Tombros from Orlando, Bridget Lyons from Tampa, Truman Adams from Sarasota, Holland King from Tampa, Erik Schlake and Deb Lawless from Ft. Myers as well as Jeff Pilkinton from Indiana. We also had students from Ringling College and Booker High, families and groups of teenagers working together. This is a true community event.
The QR pages are filled with historical tidbits from our writers such as Nanette Crist who wrote content for over 45 paintings that are both clever and interesting; Bill Baranowski who thought up stories for some of the more interesting paintings such as his "have you ever buried a body at the beach" story; and content from Sarasota History Alive that has a plethora of history on its website, Mote Marine, and Save Our Birds.
Through this cultural art experience, you will uncover some surprising Sarasota happenings, including ground-breaking civil rights achievements, golf history, tidbits about natural environment, our local animal friends, and a few 3D illusions that remain from the beginning of the COVID shutdown in April 2020.
Enjoy and please consider donating and taking the survey - there are QR code to access both along the walk. We can continue to do these cultural events with the generous support of enthusiasts such as yourself. We thank you!
The Avenue of Art ends October 1, 2021.
The Avenue of Art is paid for in part by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax Revenues through a Tourist Development Cultural/Art Grant Programs. Last year, more than $1.6 million dollars of tourist tax collections from hotels and short term rentals (less than six months) supported the arts and cultural organizations of Sarasota Country to offer exciting programming. The Arts and Cultural Alliance manages the TDC/A grant making cycles each year to ensure that the process is fair, transparent and meets the goals and requirements of the program guidelines. The purpose is to offer exciting arts/cultural programming, attract tourists to Sarasota County and maintain Sarasota's place as a cultural center.
City of Sarasota
The Avenue of Art is supported in part by the City of Sarasota. With an abundance of public art, the City's Public Art Program facilitates the creation and exhibition of a wide variety of publicly and privately initiated art works through commissions, acquisitions, donations, and loans governed by Zoning Code requirements for new development applicable city wide.