First-time chalk art competition impresses onlookers

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 June 2016 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers
ALBION – Joe Mahley of Lockport works on a portrait of Ben Franklin during today’s chalk art competition at the Albion Strawberry Festival. Mahley won the top prize, $150, for adults. He said chalk art is a “serious hobby.”

“Chalk the Walk” debuted at this year festival and organizers from the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council and the Albion Merchants Association want to bring it back next year.

Emma McQuillan, 10, of Albion won first place and $50 in the 12-and-under division for her art work of the Statue of Liberty and an American flag.

There were 14 participants in today’s event that drew many onlookers to the west side on Main Street between the canal and Bank Street.

Kyanara Canales, 15, of Albion works on her portrait of Mohandas Gandhi. She said he started the civil disobedience movement and stayed true to his beliefs despite being imprisoned. Kyanara won first place and $100 in the teen division.

Leo Gray, 8, of Batavia works on the dinosaur at left. His mother, Jennifer Gray, drew the dinosaur at right. She is the executive director of GO-Art!. The mother and son were exhibitors in today’s event, and weren’t official entries.

Gray said the debut chalk art competition had a good start. She said there will be some tweaks to make it better next year.

Valerie Carscallen of Albion works on her art work. Her granddaughters also competed in the event. Carscallen said it was a nice addition to the festival. While the artists worked, music from bands could be heard from venues at either Waterman Park or on Bank Street.

“I can’t think of a better way to spend the day than to listen to music while working with chalk,” she said. “It’s wonderful.”

Joe Mahley of Lockport  poses with the finished portrait of Ben Franklin. Mahley participates in many chalk art competitions.