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South Jordan chalk art contest delights residents

Aug 30, 2017 02:05PM ● Published by Jana Klopsch

Jane Brown, Breanna Holtry recreate classic Batman comic art. (Keyra Kristoffersen/City Journals)

Gallery: Chalk Art [5 Images] Click any image to expand.

By Keyra Kristoffersen | keyrak@mycityjournals.com

In conjunction with the fourth stage of the Tour of Utah, South Jordan held their annual Chalk Art Contest at Heritage Park on Aug. 3 with 48 artists working to create colorful pictures for visitors to enjoy.

“Having the Chalk Art in conjunction with Tour of Utah this year brought a whole different crowd who saw the Chalk Art,” said Katie Lindquist of the South Jordan Arts Council.

For the past 10 years, the Chalk Art Contest has been held at the Farmer’s Market where artists and vendors vied for space. This year, Lindquist said, the artists were glad to have more room drawing along the park’s winding sidewalks and more freedom to work outside the standard 5-by-5 square and larger exposure for the art.

“It’s amazing, there’s some really good artists here. I’m really impressed with some of these teenagers,” said Amanda Hurd, whose daughter was one of the artists competing.

Many of the artists enjoyed the opportunity to see the cyclists from all over the world getting ready to begin the race throughout the morning. The Tour of Utah began in 2004 as an invitational and was given international status in 2008 as “America’s Toughest Stage Race”, preparing cyclists for high altitude series races in Spain later in August. 

When South Jordan was chosen as Stage 4 for the 2017 Tour of Utah as not only a race start, but also finish, the South Jordan City Council and Arts Council got together to plan how best to get the community involved. The entire event included not just the Tour of Utah but the Salt Lake County Fair, Taste of Utah and Chalk Art Contest which normally takes place on a Saturday later in August. Despite the weekday scheduling, the arts council said they had a really good turnout of both artists and onlookers. 

“I love it, this is one of my favorite events that we sponsor as the arts council,” said Heather Smith, Chairman of the Arts Council, “We have a lot of return people and we got a lot of new people this year and that’s really great. The talent is amazing.”

Lauren Anne Smith is one of the returning artists who, with a friend, created a piece called “Distance” that depicts a mermaid. She said they’re theme is mythical creatures which started last year with a Phoenix.

“I love this event, it’s a really great way to promote creativity in South Jordan and I just think it’s wonderful to see all the creativeness that we have. It’s fun to be able to watch that and do this,” said Smith.

Chelsea Nissalke said she and her brother and mom travel all over Utah doing chalk art festivals, though this was her first time at South Jordan. 

“It’s kind of a family thing,” said Nissalke, “My mom and brother did it last year and they said it was a blast so I don’t want to miss out on anything fun, so I decided to jump in. Props to the bikers. I can’t do that, so good job, guys.”

Several of the artists, like Maya Anderson, from Sandy, were experiencing their first time at a chalk art contest.

“It really brings everyone together,” said Anderson, who has been drawing portraits in pencil and charcoal since she was young and just decided to try her hand at chalk, “Animals are pretty easy because if you mess up a little here or there, it’s not so noticeable, but with portraits you kind of have to get all the details perfectly right.”

Emalee Ward had never drawn anything in her life beyond stick figures but when friends from the arts council called her up, she decided to take a stab at chalk art with a stained glass peacock image.

“Win or lose, I’m here to have fun,” said Ward. 

Overall, the attitude about mixing an international bike race with a love of chalk art seemed to have favorable results, and many of the artists are eager to come back next year.

“I think it brings out the child like art in everybody, even if they’re a masterpiece, you’re still out playing with chalk and that’s what makes it fun,” said attendee Heather Smith. “You can’t play with chalk and not have fun.”   

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