Harrington Center for the Arts hosts ‘Chalk it Up’

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The Harrington Center for the Arts used the last weekend of June to color the summer with Utah’s “Chalk It Up” festival.

“Chalk art is really powerful, because it draws in people that might be intimidated by an art museum setting,” Summerisa Stevens, Chalk it Up’s coordinator, said.

Artists of all skills and ages competed against each other over three days with their chalks and imaginations in tow, armed with a canvas made of concrete.

“It’s really exciting for people to come and watch these huge masterpieces being created. We want the artists to chalk what they’re passionate about, what they’re excited about. A lot of them have this dream list of pieces they want to do in a festival,” Stevens said.

The Adobe-sponsored event hosted 130 amateur and professional artists side-by-side throughout the Adobe campus at the Outlets at Traverse Mountain with QR codes available for spectators to vote for their favorite pieces.

“Chalk it Up has always been a great event, it’s very laid back, this is one of the events where you don’t feel super rushed,” Dale Flink, professional artist, said.

“I didn’t really know it was a competition. I was nervous because I knew there was a lot of professionals here. I was like ‘I’m gonna come, get some experience, I’m gonna have fun,'” Sami Richens, amateur artist, said.

Chalk it Up is an event that has a reputation for putting artists like Sarah Allred on the map when she won the competition in 2022.

“It definitely caused a stir when Sarah won, because no one knew who she was,” Stevens said.

Allred gained popularity throughout Utah Valley for her artwork, even becoming a spotlight on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ YouTube page.

“She has quickly been adopted into the chalk art community, they love her, and now she chalks regularly,” Stevens said.

Though Allred did not compete in Chalk It Up this year, she did display her art, dedicating this year’s piece to her late uncle who passed from ALS in 2023.

“I love to see the next generation taking their place, and leading the way for others to follow,” Stevens said.

This year’s winners for Chalk it Up included Makenzie Crump for Best of Show, Grace Parker for People’s Choice and Chelsea Snyder for Artist’s Choice.

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