Playfulness was everywhere at the 2011 Magic on the Sidewalk Chalk Festival, which officially wraps up on Sunday, May 15 (depending on the weather, the art will be available for viewing several days after that). A mix of experienced and new artists of all ages came out to transform Bountiful’s Main Street into a cavalcade of imagination.
“It’s the highlight of the year,” said Katherine Kendall, smoothing down Johnny Depp’s cheek. “Everyone’s stopped by to say ‘hi.’”
Except for a quick burst of rain early Wednesday, the weather was largely accommodating and left the artists plenty of sunshine to work in. Everyone from high school students to LaVon Johnson, Mayor Joe’s wife, came out to work at various points throughout the five-day festival.
Onlookers, including school groups and many families with young children, wandered up and down the art asking questions and expressing their appreciation. Even the artists themselves often would take a break to catch the sights.
“Looking at everyone else’s, I’m like ‘Wow, they’re so much better than ours,’” said Alexa Keller, part of a student group at the festival for the first time.
Even experienced artists, however, keep learning. Cleve Rodebush has drawn at the festival for years (he works with the Joy Foundation, who sponsors the festival), and is already making notes for next year’s piece.
“No more beach blankets,” he said ruefully. “Straight lines are hard.”
Amanda Hansen, who drew in the public spaces at last year’s festival, graduated to her own square this year. “I wanted to last year,” she admitted with a laugh, “But I didn’t register in time.”
It’s an experience that many artists keep coming back for.
“It’s way fun,” said Chelsea Maughan, who drew the elephant along with Keller. “I want to do it next year for sure.”