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After an early morning rain, colorful chalk has once again flooded the streets for Artpace’s Chalk It Up. Several blocks of Houston Street were barricaded off for the community and local artists of all ages to freely express themselves through the wonderful medium of chalk. The beautiful colors were rubbed, brushed, smeared, and even crushed onto the brick canvas of the historic downtown street. Food vendors, DJs, screen printing, and special kid sections were all featured during the event.
The abrupt morning downpour didn’t stop Bradley Middle School artists Rin, Kioko, and Madilyn from taking advantage of the rain to create a beautiful piece of work they named “Beartopia,” which pictured multiple teddy bears enjoying the view of a luscious lake.
I spoke with SA2020 Chief of Engagement Molly Cox, who was a first-timer at Chalk It Up, toting around a blank chalkboard for attendees to release their creativity through haiku. Molly allowed me to interview and photograph her on the condition I wrote a haiku on the Guerilla Haiku chalkboard. I apologized in advance for my terrible attempt and even worse handwriting.
“I’m amazed at how many people are downtown making art in the rain and having such a good time together,” Cox said.
Chalk it up is a safe haven for families to sit on the street and discover art, culture, and all the creativity that comes along with it. It was a breath of fresh, fall air. It’s hard not to have a smile on your face while walking around the fantastic art so many have laid on the street. Sure, the next rain will wash away the hours of work – chalk is a temporary medium, after all. But it’s really about the time spent together, the act of doing something creative, and the collaboration of art, downtown, and its people.
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