Chelsea Marie Ritter-Soronen is a muralist, chalk artist and illustrator. She is inspired by big blank spaces and the potential that they hold to become an opportunity for storytelling and offering moments of magic and wonder for the masses. Ritter-Soronen aims to utilize her community organizing and project management skills with her artistic talent to enrich many kinds of surfaces and neighborhoods.
Ritter-Soronen graduated from the Conservatory of Fine Arts at Webster University in 2008, with a BFA in Theater and majors in costume design and scenic painting. While she has been painting murals since 2001 on her bedrooom wall (thanks Mom), it was during her time at Webster that intensive studies of theatrical scene painting provided a solid foundation of techniques and mediums from which to grow. Her multi-faceted study of theatre has given her a unique perspective of spatial design and art's role of interaction with the public. She plans to pursue her MFA in 2020.
She is the sole proprietor of Chalk Riot, a custom mural business with artists in several states. Chalk Riot LLC creates custom pavement art and chalk murals for marketing campaigns, special events, and interiors. Since its inception, Chalk Riot has been honored to work with high profile corporate clients and community groups alike. Notable customers include Anheuser Busch; Bleacher Report; Google; Greenpeace USA; Vevo; The City of Perth, Western Australia; Dell Computers among others. In St. Louis, Chalk Riot’s birthplace, Ms. Ritter-Soronen formed an official partnership with non-profit Art Saint Louis, who assists in managing client relationships and artist training and acts as fiscal sponsor when necessary. By collaborating with a local 501c3 instead of hiring a traditional corporate arts management agency, together they fuel the growing arts scene in the Greater St. Louis Area (even though Chelsea no longer lives there).
Between commissioned commitments, Ms. Ritter-Soronen is active in visual and performance art as a tool for social change. She has trained and worked alongside activists across the globe, including the Czech Republic, Italy, Australia, England, Arizona, West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and of course St. Louis. When she teaches, she focuses on guerilla/street art, street theatre, murals, community art, and chalk art. She has taught a range of ages and experience levels and is always striving for more opportunities to learn and teach.
Having also worked in the hospitality industry for a solid decade, Chelsea has an insatiable thirst for quality wine and superior dining experiences, and is a Certified Specialist of Wine as designated by the Society of Wine Educators. She has honed her project management skills by managing multimillion-dollar restaurant companies, and is adamant that restaurants are simply a dose of daily living theatre. She strives to one day fuse her love of dining experiences and public art into her magnum opus. But first, she has to cover the world in chalk dust and paint drips.