Chalk turned into art at Albany ChalkFest

Chalk turned into art at Albany Chalkfest
Published: Nov. 19, 2022 at 9:34 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 20, 2022 at 3:20 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - You may have used chalk for hopscotch, or even on a blackboard, but what about creating art? Saturday, some people put their artistic abilities to the test during the Albany Museum of Art’s (AMA) annual ChalkFest.

A total of 11 professional chalk artists went head-to-head at the annual competition to show off the many wonders of the powdery stick. Most of the artists spent over five hours completing their pieces. The theme for this year’s artwork was “Heroes.”

The theme of this year's ChalkFest was "Heroes".
The theme of this year's ChalkFest was "Heroes".(walb)

Some art pieces featured well-known heroes such as Spiderman, Maya Angelou and Harriet Tubman. Heather Cap, one of the professional chalk artists, said the event was an opportunity for anyone to easily look at art.

“The aspect of it being out, being, making art accessible anybody rather than people who can afford to go to a museum,” she said.

Jessi Queen, another professional chalk artist, is now a two-time winner. She won $100 for her portrait of Mahsa Amini—an Iranian woman murdered by police in September.

Jessi Queen came in first place and won $100 for her portrait.
Jessi Queen came in first place and won $100 for her portrait.(walb)

She said her participation in the competition wasn’t all about winning but more about sharing a message.

“I’m hoping to tell her story and maybe to uplift those voices of the woman that are suffering over there right now,” she said.

She also said being a chalk artist allows her to show a different side of her work.

“Chalk art is a temporary medium, so it’s more about the experience then the actual piece itself,” she said.

Fawn DeRosa chose to draw Maya Angelou as her hero. She said chalk art is more impactful art because it’s temporary.

“And even though it is something that washes away, it does leave an impression on your brain and your heart,” DeRosa said.

Chelsey Scott—who has been a chalk artist for 15 years—decided to create a tribute to Harriet Tubman, as she remembered learning about her at Juneteenth.

Chelsey Scott created a tribute to Harriet Tubman.
Chelsey Scott created a tribute to Harriet Tubman.(walb)

“I’m hoping that people are remembering these names as they walk around,” she said. “It just really stuck with me, the work that she did unpaid and all the hardship that she went through.”

All the artwork brought to the streets of the Good Life City was a way for the Albany Museum of Art to give back to the community.

Chalk turned into art at Albany ChalkFest

“That is truly just a gift of appreciation to Albany, the city we love,” said Andrew Wulf, executive director of AMA.

The free event was also a great opportunity for local businesses.

“ChalkFest is a wonderful opportunity for local businesses. It’s really a lovely kind of clearing house for people to just highlight what they do best,” Wulf added.

Anyone can go see the finished art pieces on South Front Street until they are naturally washed away.