‘Chalk the Walk’ covers church sidewalk with original art

The canvas for the art work on display last spring at Maryville United Methodist Church was a little different for the budding young artists. The sidewalk at the church was the canvas, and the medium was chalk.

The inaugural Chalk the Walk was successful enough to encourage organizers to start planning for the 2011 event, which serves as a fundraiser for Fine Arts Blount. Cindy McDannel with Youthful Expression Studio organized the event. While she was quick to say the event didn’t raise as much money as planners had hoped, the enthusiasm of the competitors and those on hand to watch was high, sponsorship was good and the potential for the 2011 Chalk the Walk is excellent.

“We had 9 to 13 people. There were so many other things going on that Saturday (May 22), so we’ll plan better next year. This was our inaugural event. Next year we expect to have a band and probably have it on a Sunday,” she said. “We had a lot of support with 15 sponsors, some beautiful art and impressive artists.

McDannel said the Chalk Walk event in Knoxville is successful. “When I go to it, I can’t believe the talent. They do that every year for Dogwood Arts Festival. Other places like Virginia Beach have a Chalk Walk on their boardwalk, and it is cool,” she said. “We thought this would be a great way to raise awareness and some funds for FAB’s arts programs for children.”

McDannel said FAB members sold food and baked goods and artwork. After expenses, less than $50 was raised, but the competitors had a lot of fun.

Judges were Becky Patterson, an Alcoa Elementary School art teacher; Karen Miller, a Heritage Middle School art teacher; and Katie Kinney, president of Fine Arts Blount.

Winners were:

Best of Show to Nicole Butcher, 11, for an abstract piece.

In the 7- to 11-year-old category: Kassidi McDannel, 10, won first place; Sarah Godwin, 9, took home second and Ashley Butcher, 9, was third.

In the 12- to 16-year-old category: Kayla Ellis, 12, won first and second place with multiple entries.

In the 17- and older category, Mary Cunningham, 18, took first place, and Renee Breiner, 17, was second.

Youthful Expressions Studio holds classes for children and students ages 7 to 14 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the Fine Arts Blount ArtSpace Gallery, 106 East Broadway Ave., Maryvile.

For information about Youthful Expressions Studio, contact Cindy McDannel at 865-607-4473 or at http://www.yestudio.org.

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