Chelsea Marie Ritter-Soronen is an illustrator, muralist, and chalk artist. She is inspired by big blank spaces and the potential that they hold to become a canvas for significant art pieces, and travels the world searching for them. Ms. Ritter-Soronen works in multiple art styles and genres, including realistic landscapes, portraiture, and anamorphic "3D" designs in urban environments. Rooted in the belief that public art sparks positive community engagement, attracts local business, and encourages tourism growth, Ms. Ritter-Soronen aims to utilize her community and project management skills with her artistic talent to activate surfaces of all kinds.
Ms. 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 is the sole proprietor of Chalk Riot, a chalk art business with artists in California, Ohio, Missouri, and Texas. 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; Reality Shares; Google; Greenpeace USA; The St. Louis Art Museum; The City of Perth, Western Australia; McDonalds, 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 utlizing 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.
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 the last eight years, 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.