Local artists take their talent to the streets for annual Chalk Walk

On Saturday, April 21, over 52 teams of artists ages 10 and up entered the sixth annual Chalk Festival, which took place in The Village of the city of Glendora. The rules were simple: cash prizes for the most creative chalk illustrations. Participants were given approximately 12 square feet of sidewalk to work within, as well as all the chalk and outlining pastels needed to
complete their sidewalk masterpiece.
“I love to paint, but I like doing this event as well,” 17-year-old Sierra High School senior Esther Reyes said. “It’s a different medium, so I like to come and do it, because it’s fun and it gives me a chance to work with something I don’t use very often.”
Reyes won the Crowd Favorite and Best use of Technique for the Student category last year with her drawing of Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. In 2009, Reyes won Best use of Color for the Student bracket with her drawing of the four Beatles. This year, Reyes was imitating  one of Salvador Dali’s paintings, her favorite artist. Reyes was assisted by her 26-year-old sister Dora Aranda. She listened to The Deftones and Chevelle as she graced the pavement with her palette of chalk. Reyes aspires to pursue a career in art and is currently compiling a portfolio. One day she would like to own a business, where she would be able to create and sell her own merchandise.
The registration fee was $20 for adults and $10 for students and minors, which was a small price to pay for the experience and the town exposure. All of the proceeds go to next year’s Chalk Walk fund. The showcase was an all-day affair, as hundreds of families strolled through The Glendora Village as the contestants drew from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For just a few blocks on both sides of the street, what once was just a gray, monotonous, never-ending sidewalk transformed into a world that Bert the Chimney Sweep and Mary Poppins would want to live in. These chalk drawings seemed to pop directly out of the sidewalk as artists created shiny renditions of Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, Van Gogh, Full Metal Alchemist, Mochi Monsters, landscapes, koi ponds, tribal gods, self-portraits and much more.
Various art activities were set up for children who were too young to participate in the Chalk Walk. For the third year in a row, Toyota of Glendora and Hundai Glendora donated a vehicle for children to paint. For only 50 cents, were given an unlimited amount of paint, colors
and time to change a white, barely used vehicle into their own personal masterpiece.
“Every year the hardest part is explaining to the children that they cannot do this once they get home,” Carol Gill, owner of the female intimate apparel shop Undercovers in the Glendora Village, and who is also on the board for the Chalk Festival, said. “The kids that aren’t old enough to enter into the festival have always wanted to be a part of the Chalk Festival as well, so this year we added on the Children’s Chalk Garden which allows artists not old enough to participate to draw in a 2×2 foot square for only 50 cents.”
In 2007, Gill came up with the idea after attending the Golden Walk Festival, an event hosted by continuation students attending Azusa High School, where students showcase their art to their peers at Azusa High. She was pleasantly surprised by the quality of work created by the students and wanted to reveal it to the community. Gill then started paying students from the community to draw in the alcove in front of her store every Sunday.
“Sunday is generally a slow day in The Village, reserved for those eating breakfast and brunch,” Gill said. “The art on Sundays was a way to draw attention and give people another thing to look at as they walked through The Village.”
Other shops in The Village began to notice the beautiful drawings created through a medium generally reserved for creating hopscotch courses, outlining fields and traditional blackboards. Soon the shops in The Village came together and were able to create the Chalk Festival through various donations. The annual event has grown at a steady rate of over 20 percent each year and primarily consists of high school students from Glendora and Azusa.
As the festivities came to a close, judges handed out $150 for the Best of Show, three $50 prizes to contestants in the adults category, three $25 prizes to those in the students category and three $20 cash prizes to the 14-and-under junior winners category. The prize money was provided by the Glendora Village BID, Bartdog.com, The Lash Company and Kara’s Korner Deli. All of the outlining pastel chalks were donated by the Blick Art Supply store in Pasadena, Calif.
The festival took two days to set up and heavily relied on the help of volunteers. Local Boy Scout Troop 485 showed up at 6 a.m. to help start outlining the contestants’ cement canvases. Neighborhood high school students and various other citizens donated their time to help make the event happen. The Chalk Festival Committee consists of Gary Boyer of Village Properties, Monica Ek of KidsArt and Debra Gould from The Village Book Shop. Together, they are the primarily vehicle by which this family-friendly tradition sparks each year.
The chalk art gallery is still up for viewing pleasure on both sides of the street on Glendora Avenue between Foothill Boulevard and Bennett Avenue in Glendora until it rains or until the art walks away on the shoes of passersby.