Chalkfest brings art to Onset sidewalks

Aug 20, 2022

Sidewalks in Onset were transformed into works of art on Saturday, Aug. 20, as artists of all ages chalked the walks at the annual Chalk-Full-O-Fun Fest.

This year, the Onset Bay Association’s event was centered in Onset’s Bayview Park, overlooking the pier and beach. The sidewalks around the Onset Bay Center were the artist’s canvases for works depicting favorite cartoon characters, sunset views, abstract works of art and messages urging people to vote.

Under tents lining the sidewalk through the center of the park, local artists and crafters displayed their wares: handmade soaps, paintings, jewelry and even trinket boxes with ferocious teeth. Environmental groups, like the Buzzards Bay Coalition, Wareham Land Trust, and Save Our Bay, a group opposing a proposal to dump irradiated water from the nuclear power plant in Plymouth into the Cape Cod Bay.

Laura Potter, this year’s featured artist, said she first worked with chalk at the festival several years ago. Her piece, spanning over two panels in front of the Onset Bay Center, depicted a pool with a pair of flip flops on the diving board and an ominous shark in the water.

“I wanted to try something a little more three-dimensional and something funny,” she said.

A number of families spent the day drawing together.

Fred Gillis collaborated with his nephew, Charlie Cairn, on a trio of portraits of Cairn playing trumpet. Down the sidewalk, Cairn’s brother Ryan drew a sunset view from a recent trip to Myrtle Beach, while his mother and brother, Andrea and Matthew, drew a portrait of a cousin fishing.

Sisters Tricia and Mary Norton used their sidewalk squares to urge people to vote in upcoming elections. (Early voting for the primary begins Aug. 27.)

Jack Rinta said he’s wanted to come to the Chalkfest for years, and he got his mother, Diana Piscitelli, to come along. Together, they drew a show-stopping pink triceratops.

Rinta said his mother chose the color.

“She loves pink and she’s really good at colors,” he said.

Dave Richardson and Jan Schmidt provided a soundtrack, playing in the gazebo and letting their music float on the sea breeze throughout the festival.

“It’s always been such a good energy here,” Richardson said. He and Schmidt have performed at the Blues Fest and as part of the Summer of Love concert series, but this was the duo’s first ChalkFest performance. 

For information about upcoming events, to volunteer or donate, go to