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Chalk It Up to Creativity

May 23, 1996|LAURIE K. SCHENDEN

Kurt Wenner was destined to be an artist. He had his own art studio when he was a 7-year-old growing up in Santa Barbara. He would show the other kids in his neighborhood--including his future wife, Elizabeth--how to model animals out of clay. As an adult, while in Italy to study classicism, he was introduced to chalk art in the streets--and discovered that it was a good way to pay the bills. But he took it a step further, making his drawings three-dimensional. "That's what I brought to the art form," says the energetic artist. And that's also what's made him famous.

The public can watch Wenner at work today and Friday, in preparation for the Memorial Day weekend's "Chalk It Up and West Hollywood Fine Arts Festival," at which more than 400 artists will participate. The crowds are all part of it, says Wenner, 37. "I get a lot of energy from the audience." Wenner's work, sponsored by Absolut Vodka, will be photographed and used in an advertising campaign for the company.

Other activities include arts and crafts, music and food. Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday and Monday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Benefits arts and homeless services. San Vicente Boulevard, between Melrose Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood. $10; ages 5-12, $3. (800) 290-2044.

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