Chalkin’ it up in Virginia

The last time Julianna and I used sidewalk chalk was at least a decade ago, but as you might guess, the art form hasn’t changed all that much…

I was lucky enough to be able to visit my sister Jules in Virginia this past weekend, and we had a blast.  It was a good old-fashioned vacation for me: the beach, the bay, more McDonald’s than usual – AND a sidewalk chalk contest in Gloucester, VA.


Jules and I saw the sign for “Chalk Fest ’09” in the Old Dominion art department as she was giving me a tour and we thought, “What the heck!” (By the way, they have some amazingly cool letterpressed posters all over the place in there – one of their professors apparently just letterpresses announcements all the time…how fine is that!)

We woke up bright and early on Saturday and headed out to Gloucester, which appears to be everything you could want from small town America. (The festival took place on Main Street, of course.)  Julianna had had the foresight to drive us to the Dollar Tree the night before to pick up some sponges for grinding color in between the cracks in the cement – and since Chalk Fest happened to be held on asphalt, this was extremely helpful!  We set to work on this year’s theme “A Village View” at about 10 and didn’t stop – but for a boyscout-cooked hot-dog break – until 3, when all chalks had to be dropped.  Then we wandered Main Street for an hour sipping particularly saturated Italian sodas from the local cafe until the judge’s votes were in.  And we won first!  It was a bit surreal.  And very fun.  And very – well, sisterly.

So, if you’re feeling inspired, just go dig out that old bucket of chalk that I know is hiding somewhere between a dusty hose and Christmas decorations in the garage. Remedy the taupe-ness of the driveway!


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