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South Jordan Journal

Dutch oven and chalk art talents showcased by Paradigm students

Jun 18, 2018 02:20PM ● By Julie Slama

At the end of the school year, Paradigm students competed in their annual chalk art festival. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

By Julie Slama | julie@mycityjournals.com

At the end of Paradigm’s 10th year in South Jordan, students, teachers and administrators at the school had reason to celebrate: the choir recently performed in Washington, D.C. with Mormon Tabernacle organist Andrew Unsworth; the orchestra was recognized as one of the best in state and ninth-graders; and seniors took part in the symbolic annual lantern ceremony.

The 500 students also concluded the year with some challenging non-traditional skills and talents to showcase in a duct-tape fashion show, a chalk art festival and a Dutch oven cook-off, where winners were announced at the annual art show, which had the theme of “My Tangible Soul.” 

“Every year, Paradigm has a chalk art festival and Dutch oven cook-off,” administrator Mark Jones said about the May 10 events. “Both of these are competitions where the winners are decided by the rest of the student body.”

Jones said that after students sign up to participate, they spend the morning either creating chalk art on the squares of the sidewalk or cooking in Dutch ovens. Then, classes come out and vote on the winners for the chalk art competition, and those who want to can pay $5 and try all the Dutch oven entries and vote on their favorite as well. 

In the chalk art festival, the students were learning how to use a grid to execute their design in an 8-foot-by-8-foot square, art mentor Melissa Chipman said. 

Juniors Hannah Seeley and Ammon Bowman teamed up with sophomore Nyah Richards to create their chalk art piece, which is based on the quote “Education is not the filling of a bucket but the lighting of the fire.” 

“The quote is on the stairs in the school,” Hannah said. “Our candles represent the passionate ideas and the mentor (what Paradigm calls its teachers) here sharing the passion amongst scholars (or students).” 

Nyah said the group sketched their ideas before getting out the chalk. Although she has only had one art class, she said the idea of working with chalk is similar to those of art class. 

“We blended colors like when use colored pencils,” Ammon said, adding that through bouncing ideas with one another, they were able to become more creative. 

Seventh-grader Ellie Gibbons was creating her artwork titled, “Mend My Broken Heart.”

“I love chalk art, so with the art theme of ‘My Tangible Soul,’ I wanted to focus on the emotions of people when they fall in love and portray that in my art,” she said, adding that nearby, her sister, sophomore Janey Gibbons, was creating a dragon’s eye. 

Junior Lily Kirkham also was working independently after her cousin, with whom she teamed up in previous years, decided to try her hand with the Dutch oven competition. 

Lily was drawing hair on a female with blue chalk.

“It represents releasing ourselves in this world and how it can be a relief to let go,” she said.

At the annual Dutch oven festival, 14 teams of two students got parental permission and their recipes approved by mentor David Crowley, before taking part in the competition. 

“I held a mini-class after school for those who were interested, but many have families who cook with Dutch ovens, so they have some knowledge,” he said. “I hope they are learning to cook in a Dutch oven and trying something new, which is good. They’re learning to ask questions and solve problems as they cook. One team added too much milk and were going to pour it off and start over, when I asked what they would do if they were camping and didn’t have more milk. They came up with another method, which is a good skill and similar to finding solutions to life lessons.” 

The Dutch oven dishes ranged from macaroni and cheese and brownies or campfire nachos and monkey bread, to jambalaya and blackberry cake, and creamy chicken tortellini soup and s’more cake. 

Seniors Anne Tolman and Claire Gardner were competing for the first time. 

“Every year this happens, and we say we’ll do it, but we never have until now,” Tolman said. 

“It’s the time to do it since we’re seniors,” Gardner added. 

The two used a curry recipe they found in a cookbook and Tolman’s uncle’s recipe for rolls. 

“Cooking with a Dutch oven isn’t as scary as I thought,” Tolman said.

Eighth-graders Dallin Thornton and Ethan Lloyd made hobo stew, quesadillas and peach cobbler. 

“I’ve made quesadillas before but not on a Dutch oven lid,” said Ethan, who had his brother Connor compete as a sophomore. “I learned how quickly they cook. It’s a good experience learning how charcoal heats cast iron.” 

Crowley said the event, which also combined with belated Cinco de Mayo activities and an open mic, was a tradition. 

“It’s our version of a field day, and it’s all about having learning and is just fun,” he said.