Via Arte19  2020

Artist Robyn Dyer works on her rendition of the late rock star David Bowie during last year's Via Arte at The Marketplace. The popular street painting festival, put on by the Bakersfield Museum of Art, will return Oct. 17 and 18 with added safety measures in place.

While many events have been forced to cancel this year, it seems art will triumph — at least while safely outdoors. Bakersfield Museum of Art announced its Via Arté Italian Street Painting event will take place next month at The Marketplace. 

This year's festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 17 and 18 at The Marketplace, 9000 Ming Ave.

Since 1998, the annual event has drawn thousands of spectators to watch artists recreate masterpieces or render original artworks in chalk on the asphalt of the Ming Avenue shopping center. 

To make sure the event can proceed in light of current state mandates, the museum worked with the Kern County Department of Public Health to develop safety protocols. That includes limiting attendance and adjusting the layout to allow for borders of up to 10 feet around the artist squares, which will be 7 feet by 7 feet.

All spectators, artists and staff must remain 6 feet or more apart when conversing or interacting.

Masks will be required. Those without facial coverings will be refused entry to the exhibition or may be subject to removal from exhibition grounds.

Throughout the event, BMoA staff will clean shared spaces and frequently disinfect commonly touched areas, including electronic equipment, tables, booth areas, umbrellas.

Disposable gloves, masks, alcohol wipes, hand sanitizer and hand-washing stations will always be available during the exhibition.

Artists must be in good physical health during the exhibition to participate. The call for artists is open now through Sept. 27. Those interested in participating must submit either a description and photo of the masterwork being copied or the concept of the original work for approval. Forms are available at

There are also sponsorship opportunities for individuals and organizations. Call 323-7219 for more information.

For the latest details, visit

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.

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