Payload Blog

Celebration of Women in Space | Meet the Chalk Artists

Did you know Sally Ride was the first American woman in space? This year marks the 40th anniversary of her first flight, which is why this summer at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is devoted to a Celebration of Women in Space. Every Monday in July, we are welcoming local artists to create one-of-a-kind chalk art installations that honors the achievements of women in our space program. 

Current Schedule:

  • JULY 3      Leigh Alfredson and Savannah Deutsch
  • JULY 10    Leigh Alfredson and Rosa Villa
  • JULY 17    Leigh Alfredson and Ron Hawkins
  • JULY 24    Leigh Alfredson and Janet Tombros
  • JULY 31    Leigh Alfredson and Anna McCambridge-Thomas

Before you arrive, meet these talented artists! 

Meet the Chalk Artists

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Leigh Alfredson is a professional artist and street painter (soft pastels on the pavement) living in the Orlando, Florida area. She has been street painting for 28 years, and has done over 520 pieces of art on pavements areas all over the United States, Curacao, and Italy. Leigh also loves teaching street painting, as well as all types of art at Alfredson Academy of Art where she teaches art in person or via Zoom.

Savannah Deutsch loves all things art, science, and photography. Whenever I'm not found knelt over an art piece in progress or editing photos, I'm usually outdoors. I'm currently studying marine biology at Florida Atlantic University, so snorkeling is one of my favorite hobbies. One of my favorite things about art is being able to tie it into my other interests, whether that be drawing pictures I've taken or painting something that interests me in the science community.

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Rosa Villa is a native of Milan, Italy and has a Masters Degree from the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan. Rosa first came to Orlando, FL after Disney came to her school and selected her to be an artist at Epcot. In 1999, she was a featured artist throughout Walt Disney World. Rosa has experience using fabrics, watercolor, acrylic, chalk, pencil, oil and mosaics. Rosa regularly participates in chalk art events around Central Florida. While she paints in various styles, her favorite is the Italian Renaissance. She has created outfits and costumes for various people and theaters in Milan, Italy. She also has worked as a costume designer in the Orlando area, for local theaters, theme parks as well as the Orlando Opera and Orlando Ballet.

Ron Hawkins is a 2D/3D sidewalk chalk artist/street painter, but also work in acrylic, soft pastels, pen/ink and mural creation. I love Monte's artwork and as such create my art with an impressionistic feel. Most of my creations have an underlining meaning for the interpretation of the viewer. Twenty seven years ago, my employer at the time asked me if I wanted to be their sponsored artist in a sidewalk chalk event in Orlando. Through all the rain, pain and mental strain I am still producing sidewalk art/street paintings. I have created artwork in various states in the US and have been invited overseas. Every festival gives me new opportunities to learn from the best artists in the world.

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Janet P. Tombros, a resident of Apopka, Florida, is a certified Master, street painter through Chalk Art Nation association. As current president of the organization, she stays busy keeping members and art enthusiasts informed about events and related information. Janet has been a featured artist at many Chalk Festivals throughout the United States and is an established acrylic artist on both canvas and murals. "My art is about telling a story. When creating a 3D image, I love to find a way to make it interactive so my audience can participate.

Anna McCambridge-Thomas is a native Floridian who has spent most of her life in Orlando. Her education began at an early age by her mother, who is also a local artist, and then more formally at the University of Central Florida. Anna began her Madonnari (street painting) career at the very first Madonnari event in Orlando in 1995. Also known for her multi-layered colored pencil and gesso works, some of her favorite subjects are people and zoomorphism.

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Don’t forget to check out all of the events happening during our Celebration of Women in Space this summer. 


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