Kansas City’s Chalk and Walk

Art students use festival to gain experience while having fun

Marshall Payton, Staff Writer

Photo to the right: Winnetonka art students paint in an orca on the sidewalk at Crown Center. Last school year, art students chose this image to recreate at the September festival. Photo by Elizabeth Payton

Adding color to Crown Center Square, Winnetonka’s Art Department attended Kansas City’s Chalk and Walk festival. Students who attended this event spent Sept. 8 and 9 painting the sidewalk at Crown Center.

Among the students was sophomore Sadie Waggerman, who had also attended the festival last year as a part of Art Club. Students were to use various supplies to recreate the image onto a sidewalk that acts as a square grid.

“We [Art Club students] pick out different ideas from the internet to decide what we were going to draw, then we kind of combined most of them together,” Waggerman said. “Everyone was picking things from the fantasy and adventure genre, so we decided together to do an ocean creature.”

However, the emphasis of the Chalk and Walk festival wasn’t on the final product. Art teacher Heather Sulzen, the director of the art department, explained the purpose of the event was to teach students “not just about being involved in an art piece,” but being involved in the entire process.

“It [the festival] is not about the final piece,” Sulzen said. “The final piece is not permanent; it’s going to get washed away. It’s about putting all this work and time into something that is not going to be a permanent fixture. It’s about working together as a team.”

The event was opened to the entire school this year, meaning that more students were able to attend this event. Many students did sign up, but not as many attended. Although the turnout wasn’t as large as projected, Sulzen wasn’t worried.

“Last year we were struggling the second day because only two people showed up for the whole day of the festival,” Sulzen said. “This year a lot of people signed up, and some of them didn’t show up, but there’s definitely enough people here to stay busy.”

Even though this festival was a chance for art students to gain points to letter in art, many attended just because they wanted to. In senior Jessica Glaszczak’s case, she said she attended simply because she loves art.

“I feel like it’s one of the best ways that someone can express themselves in many different materials.” Glaszczak said. “If you love expression, if you love anything around the arts, you should definitely get into something involving the arts.”

Winnetonka was the only school in the North Kansas City School District to attend this event.

“People are always really impressed that we are a group of students working on the weekend to do this event,” Sulzen said. “They think it’s really cool that we are out here, not being from around here, and that we are from North Kansas City.”

The enjoyment was mutual among some students as well. Waggerman said she wishes to work with art in the future and the Chalk and Walk festival was a great way to get practice.   

“I want to be an illustrator when I grow up and this was experience with working with bigger scales.” Waggerman said. “I was just trying to have fun and support my school.”