While most of us were hiding in our residence halls from the heat this Saturday or taking a dip in the pool at SLUruba, many artists around St. Louis were creating masterpieces with sidewalk chalk in the Delmar Loop. Located right next to Fitz’s Soda Bar & Grill, a depiction of the Delmar Loop sign was drawn in chalk near the registration tent of the 3 Chalk On!” festival, where volunteers were braving the heat.
The event kicked off at 9 a.m. and lasted until 5 p.m. Participants paid $6-$10 to enter the contest. The sidewalk chalk festival was divided into four categories: Best of the Loop (where you depict what you love most around the loop), Chalk of Fame (dedicated to the Walk of Fame inductees), most creative and Chalk Land (for kids 12 and younger).
The winning artists in each category will be featured on the Loop’s website with photos of their winning artwork, artistic biographies, and links to their portfolios or personal websites. Winners also receive cash prizes, as well as gift certificates from a variety of Loop businesses.
The chalk art turned the Delmar Loop into a colorful and vibrant neighborhood, as if it were a scene from Mary Poppins. The imagination involved makes you want to dive into these magical chalk creations. Watching a middle-aged woman draw “Alice in the Loop Land,” brought on thoughts of falling down the rabbit hole of someone’s imagination. Wonderful pieces of chalk art covered a four-block stretch of the Delmar Loop.
This event showed the wide range of artistic talent in the St. Louis community. Some of the younger entries showed much promise and development.
One of the artists drew a Bugs Bunny while another had gone for an different classic cartoon character, the Pink Panther.
When I spoke to the one of the participants, Kayla, about her reason for scribbling on the pavement from 10 in the morning until two in the afternoon with the temperature ranging from 90 to 98 degrees, she replied, “It’s fun; it’s definitely a great way to get out and inspire people to think.”
Kayla spoke to us about being a vegan tattoo artist and a humanitarian. Her chalk artwork depicted an animal in captivity, a world with the words “One life, One chance, One love,” surrounding it, and an array of symbols for love and respect. It definitely displayed her artistic abilities and her personality perfectly.
Other artists decided to voice their opinions and views through different ways, with one of the blocked-off parking lot sidewalks displaying a marriage proposal written out in a rainbow of chalk colors. Another creative use of the chalk was found seconds away from the proposal, where a colorful city landscape laid with an orange mountain in the background of buildings. The outside windows reflected yellow, orange, and red hues. The Sidewalk Chalk Festival turned a neighborhood into a canvas taken over by imagination and colorful chalk.
In the end, regardless of who won the four categories, the chalk festival has given artists a chance to display their creativity and the community a chance to appreciate it.