Celebrating the Art of Being Together Again With the Muscarelle Museum

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The Muscarelle Museum – and all of us here at Consociate Media – invites you to chalk your community a different color by creating a work of art in your own driveway.

Select one of the 50 images from the museum’s permanent collection to participate in the museum’s first-ever Driveway Chalk Art Competition and start creating your piece. Snap a photo of your finished masterpiece and upload it with your registration form to be eligible for prizes that range from $300 for honorable mention to $2,500 for first place. Entries must be received by midnight on July 31, 2021.

The competition, which Consociate Media is delighted to help sponsor, is the brainchild of Steve Prince, Director of Engagement & Distinguished Artist in Residence at the museum. The 2010 Hampton City Schools Teacher of the Year believes art should be a collaborative endeavor that unites communities. In 2017, he kicked off the yearlong commemoration of the College of William and Mary’s first African-American residential students by creating a mural with a cross section of community members.

“This is a project about wellbeing,” said Prince, who holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Xavier University of Louisiana and a Master of Fine Arts in printmaking and sculpture from Michigan State University. “We need these kind of outlets in art. I know how therapeutic art is for me as an individual and what it does for me to make something from nothing and share it with the community.”

Prince is hopeful the project will spark groups of neighbors and friends to collaborate. The timing is purposeful. With the warmer weather and COVID restrictions lifting, people are rediscovering the joys of being together again.

“I see the arts as a balm for healing,” Prince said. “Art is a beautiful way to engage people to create and to create together. We’re in the midst of this pandemic. So many people have been locked away in their homes. We have not traveled. We’re just starting to move again. I thought how beautiful would it be if we engage people in our communities to go out into their yards and create works of art in their driveways? How beautiful it is to go to your church parking lot see chalk art there or watch a Girl Scout troop or a Boy Scout troop creating art together.”

Prince has lined up a celebrity juror, CCH Pounder, to select the winners. The veteran film and television actress played Detective Claudette Wyms on “The Shield” and Dr. Loretta Wade on “NCIS: New Orleans.”

Pounder owns several of Prince’s pieces and is a friend. “She actually curates art; she has a real eye for it,” Prince said.

Each driveway art submission requires a $20 entry fee that will go toward supporting future art projects in the Williamsburg community.

“The greatest answer to a challenging situation is creativity or imagination,” Prince said. “What we need right now is imagination and hard work to solve problems. The chalk art becomes a metaphor for that. Of course, chalk art is not going to solve all of our issues, but it puts us in the spirit of working together and having fun together. The effect of that is transformative.”

The Muscarelle Museum website offers tips and tricks to help driveway artists complete their pieces and photograph them properly. Prince’s advice? “Don’t labor over it,”  he said. “Have fun.”

More importantly, have fun together.