Chalk Riot Beautifies STL With Custom-Painted Murals

By Klara Kobylinski
In Culture

Ever heard of a chalk professional? Meet Chelsea Ritter-Soronen and Rusty Conklin, two artists who founded Chalk Riot, a company specializing in large-scale custom murals. What began as a small creative interest grew to a full-fledged company of six professionals in 2015. Ritter-Soronen told us, “Chalk art is one of the most approachable and interactive public art forms available today—it’s a great tool to communicate messages and visuals to audiences of all ages and interests.”

Chalk Riot designs custom blackboard murals, interior pavement murals and exterior pavement murals for nearly any occasion. These tableaus are commissioned for private events, marketing campaigns and even indoors to spice up a drab wall. Clients around the St. Louis area include the St. Louis Cardinals, the Saint Louis Art Museum,  Techartista, Palate Coffee Bar, The Laurel Apartments, Anheuseur Busch, and The Crossing, among many international brands (think Lululemon and McDonald’s) and private customers. 2016 will likely see Chalk Riot participating in six chalk festivals nationwide as they expand beyond STL.

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Images courtesy of Chalk Riot

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Honoring David Bowie on The Loop. Photo by Ben Evans.

Chalk Riot’s work runs the gamut from ephemeral chalk pastel drawings on the street—susceptible to pedestrian traffic and rainstorms—to permanent murals created with chalk and latex paint markers and spray-sealant. The company also explores the interplay of the two- and three-dimensional, often creating the illusion of 3-D on an entirely flat surface or actually allowing part of a mural to jut into space through the use of multiple canvas planes. Chalk Riot recently partnered with Art Saint Louis to foster a community of public art-makers and raise awareness about the public art profession and how to retain local artists in St. Louis.

Director and Co-Founder Chelsea Ritter-Soronen states, “St. Louis has the potential for a public arts renaissance and I’m ecstatic that Chalk Riot is at the forefront. Public art encourages tourism, builds community, and stimulates local businesses. We have lots of exciting plans in the works for our 2016 season–tune in via social media!”

To find out more about Chalk Riot or to view more work, check them out on Instagram @chalkriot or twitter.

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