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Chalk It Up Festival delights art lovers of all ages



Megan Wallgren | Lehi Free Press

Artists from across the state transformed the central courtyard of the Adobe Campus into an outdoor art gallery for the sixth annual Chalk It Up chalk art festival on June 27 through 29. Around 10,000 people came to enjoy the vibrant colors, eclectic collection of subjects, and amazing artistic talent at the three-day event. Music and food trucks added to the festive feel of the event.

“It’s a fun celebration of the artistic community,” said Chalk It Up event organizer Spencer Stevens with the Harrington Center for the Arts. 

Now in its sixth year, the event has grown to be the largest in the state. Stevens said artists had to be turned away this year, even though they had moved the event location for more space and a better experience. 

Around 135 artists created chalk art along the sidewalk of the Adobe campus. The subjects included pop culture, portraits and copies of masterworks. 

”There was no theme, and it was fun to see what the artists came up with. It was a celebration of life,” Stevens said. Winning artists received cash prizes for their work.

Stevens attributes the popularity of the event to its accessibility. 

“It makes art more accessible. Artists and patrons of all ages can come and connect with the artwork,” Stevens said. “It’s free or low cost and draws people in who may not want to go to, or take their kids to, a museum. Toddlers and grandparents can experience it together.” There was even an area where patrons could try their own hand at chalk art.


The feeling of community and celebration was a draw for both the artists and patrons. 

“I love the feeling of community. It’s fun to see artists come together. I love talking with and helping other artists,” said artist Jenn D’Haenens. “I love seeing people’s reactions to what I’ve created. When kids walk by and say, ‘I want to learn to do this,’ it’s just the best feeling.”

Though they may spend 15 to 20 hours on a piece of art that’s going to be washed away, the artists all love the medium and experience. 

“The cracks and divots, the imperfections in the sidewalk give it a unique feel. The fact that it’s not a permanent thing is freeing. It’s more about the experience,” said artist Shawn Perkins.

“It’s the experience,” said artist Tim Barlow, who has been participating in chalk art festivals for the last five years. “Kids come and watch you work, and it’s great to see them inspired. It’s a collective effort to make something great for the community.”

“It’s fun to do something really big that I can be proud of,” said artist Ari Morrill. She won second place in the teen category for her outline of a fox filled in with a mountain scene.

The “Best in Show” award went to artist Makenzie Cramp for her rendition of a piece by artist Daniel Conway, showing a girl with a palette and paintbrush in a meadow of flowers looking into a black hole. “The black void represents an art block, and I think we’ve all been stuck in a rut as an artist,” Cramp said. 

Cramp is a chalk artist for Harmon’s grocery stores. You can find her art on Instagram under the name @bluebirdchalkart. Though she has been creating chalk art for ten years, this is her first festival win. 


“It’s very validating,” she said. “As an artist in general, the goal is to transform an ordinary surface into something vibrant, colorful and beautiful. I always like to pick subjects that catch the eye.”

Chalk It Up is one of nine community outreach programs put on by the Harrington Center for the Arts to increase community engagement with the arts. A beginning and an advanced chalk art class were offered as part of the festival. Chalk It Up is supported by a Lehi PARC tax grant.

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