Our interview with Artist Manuel Briceno…
*Manuel first joined us at our 3rd Chalk Festival event . We were so happy that he and his family found our event and now attend annually! The Briceno family look for rich ways to experience life and give back to the community. It’s a pleasure to see all of the Art activities and fun adventures the Briceno’s create for each other and FRENZ! They truly understand the power of connection!
AutismHWY: First off we want to thank you Manuel, for chalking at the AutismHWY Chalk Festival over the last 4 years! Your cool artistic contributions each and every year have been important in helping us build and promote the event. THANKS!!
We were so happy to be chalking together at the Ventura Harbor last weekend at the Ventura Art and Street Painting festival ! I love being a street artist and would like to interview you about your emerging career as a street artist! Is that okay with you?
Manuel: Yes, I think so.
AutismHWY: What do you think about winning the $100.00 prize money/award for Best Color at the 6th annual AutismHWY Chalk Festival this year?
Manuel: That was the best thing that ever happened to me in my life!
The “feathered Snake” that brought in the win for Manuel was located near the Kids craft zone where they were gluing feathers and jewels on masks designed for them by Autistic superpower Maryellen Szper. After awhile the feathers were blowing in the wind. Manuel pointed the feathers out “See, I told you the Feathered Snake was real!”
Absolutely Manuel! ALL THINGS are POSSIBLE!
AutismHWY: Chalk art on concrete is really different than traditional ART. The surfaces are very unique and need different techniques. Please, tell me your thoughts on that.
Manuel: It is not very smooth. But I plan to make some gloves thing to use to maybe smooth help to blend. Sometimes drawing on cement is risky and rough so maybe people should scrape the chalk to wet it and paint it on.
Manuel’s Mom Christie notes that once Manuel was so displeased with surface texture he erased, and started over! I’ve done that!
AutismHWY: An important factor in chalk-art is that the audience witnesses your creation coming to life, LIVE. What do you think about that? Do you enjoy chalking with an audience around you?
Manuel: Well… it’s kind of embarrassing a little bit, but I like to talk about my picture sometimes but I just like to talk a little bit- a lot because I am busy thinking.
Very distracting indeed and time consuming…I know what you mean! I chalk 60% of the time and talk 40% !! lol…
AutismHWY: This time you were a featured artist and were given, chalk, free food and hotel accommodations for your time and talent! How did that feel?
Manuel: That was nice. It was the nicest thing for them to do. The best part was the hotel room because it had cable and so I got to watch it and we also had a new tiny refrigerator my dad put soda in it!
*Manuel doesn’t have cable at home. WooHoo…next yr. bring the popcorn to go with that cold soda Mom and Dad!!
AutismHWY: Finally, we would like to know if you are glad that you traveled to Ventura and chalked at the 2016 Ventura Art and Street Painting festival?
Manuel: Yeah. I think it’s been great becoming a chalk artist.
We have to agree Manuel! It’s been a pleasure for us to witness your Artistic growth and creative expression over the years. Your passion for creating and storytelling about your characters connects you to your culture! Making you an excellent street artist. Your sense of adventure while expanding your experiential horizon is your super power. Thank you for sharing that!
We are proud to be connected to you and will be nominating you for a Naturally Autistic People Award~ for the 2017 Western Regional to be held in conjunction with our 2017 Chalk Festival weekend!
Kelly Green writes as admin for the Autism Chalk Art website.
Kelly is the mother to a very vocal, non-speaking teenaged Autistic son. The founder of AutismHWY and the AutismHWY Chalk Festival she also creates the Making Friends with Autism Coloring Book Series. She seeks to amplify the voice of Autistic people helping the world to realize their significance past, present and future.