Chalk art brightens Baker City sidewalks

Chalk

Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 11.49.31 AMBAKER CITY — Art will literally line the sidewalks July 29 for the annual Chalk It Up to Art event in Baker City.

The day is sponsored by the Baker Art Guild, and participation is open to everyone. Artists donate their time to beautify the sidewalks with chalk drawings.

Ann Mehaffy, who helps organize the event, calls it a “pop up art show.”

“It’s really a one-day show,” she said. “People just love it. It under-scores that we are an artistic community.”

And if the weather is sunny, most of the chalk masterpieces will stick around until the next rainstorm. Those who want to participate can gather at Short Term Gallery, 1829 Main St., at 9 a.m. July 29 for coffee and breakfast snacks. All supplies will be provided, including chalk, knee pads, gloves, brushes and water.

Mehaffy said all ages and artistic abilities are welcome, especially children.

“Something that simple can turn the corner on a kid and encourage them to do something art-related,” she said.

After getting their supplies, artists will head out to start working on their masterpieces. Mehaffy said some gear their design to reflect the nearby store, and others work on different ideas. Although there is no overall theme, she suspects a few designs will be inspired by the total solar eclipse that can be seen in Baker City on Aug. 21.

She said artists will work on their creations throughout the day, and visitors are welcome to stroll around downtown to see the works in progress.

“Some people do a couple pieces; some spend all day on one piece,” she said. “It’s tons of fun.”

The drawings will be placed in areas that don’t interfere with pedestrian traffic or block entrances to businesses. Mehaffy said the works are sprayed with hairspray just to keep the chalk dust down — nothing about this art show is permanent.

“I love that it’s a pop-up show — it’s temporary,” she said.

Chalk It Up to Art is sponsored by the Baker Art Guild and funded by the Oregon Cultural Trust, and Baker County Cultural Coalition. To sign up as a participant, or for more information, call Mehaffy at 541-519-0698 or stop by Short Term Gallery or call 541-519-2515.

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