Artists protect chalk drawings from rain damageSubmitted: 07/12/2014

Karolina Buczek

WAUSAU - Water and sidewalk chalk don't mix very well.

The rain put many artists at Chalkfest in Wausau behind on schedule to finish up their artwork. That's because organizers had to cover all of the artwork with plastic for a few hours.

"The only thing that can really mess us up is rain. We're prepared for that every year. We have plastic laid out ahead of time with staples and duct tape. Once we know the rain is coming we mobilize everyone on the square and we all help and we get it done," said Mort McBain, an event organizer.

This year, the artists had to cover up their artwork before it even started raining. That's because organizers didn't want to risk any piece getting ruined.

"We've had a couple of really nice pieces ruined by the rain. Every year it happens. This year, we made a special effort because we knew it was going to be rainy," said McBain.

Organizers use a very strong plastic to cover up the artwork. It makes sure no drop of water smudges the chalk.

Not only does the plastic cover up and protect the artwork. It also keeps the ground underneath dry. That's important because as soon as it stops raining, the artist can just take it off and finish up what they were working on.

However, not all water ruins chalk drawings. Artists need water to help them create their piece.

"You definitely want water because it helps you blend and get the pigment on the concrete. But when it's coming from the sky, you can't control it and it runs all over the place," said featured artist Brett Budzinski.

Raindrops create small smudges. That can make the drawing look fuzzy. Artists and organizers want to avoid that.

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