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Life Boost

Tue, Jun 09, 2020

Jamie Keil

Jamie Keil - Learning & Engagement Manager

Chalk Your Walk: June Community Craft

We're back for another community craft project!

While we all continue to shelter in place and limit our excursions out into the public, it's been inspiring to see the creative ways we continue to reach each other, process, and heal through art.

Last month we shared the Kindness Rock Project and invited everyone to spread joy around the neighborhood in the form of cheerful, colorful stones.

This month, we are sharing the popular activity, known as #ChalkYourWalk. Across the country, people are sharing words of encouragement, joy, and solidarity by drawing with chalk across their neighborhood's sidewalks.

Below we will dive into how to "Chalk Your Walk" and share some inspiration for how to use chalk as a way to spread social justice messages. Plus, get to know one Santa Cruz artist who is going viral with her incredible creations and how to make your own chalk paint out of household ingredients.

How-To Chalk Your Walk

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1. Give off Positivity

Use positive and joyful words and imagery. These should inspire your neighbors to feel happy, connected, and hopefully create a bright spot in their day.

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2. Share Social Justice Messages

There is a lot going on in the world right now, use this creative way to share your voice. Support Black Lives Matter, Pride Month, and other movements that you want to uplift.

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3. Create a workout.

Give your neighbors a chance to follow your instructions, whatever those may be. Spin, run, jump, silly walk, dance. You decide!

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4. Go Abstract

Try using tape for some abstract chalk art. Use painters tape to make designs or words on the ground. Chalk all around it, take off the tape and see what the negative space creates.

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5. Get Creative.

Play with the cracks in the sidewalk, write a joke, or draw your favorite animal. Make it your own. You can check out our Pinterest board for more inspiration.

More Inspo

Local Artist Highlight: Janice Serilla

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Janice Serilla has been artistic in one way or another all her life. Growing up in a creative family fueled her desire to be an artist. She moved to Santa Cruz, CA from Detroit, MI in 2009. Upon moving to Santa Cruz, she was seeking a creative outlet and started volunteering at a local Clay Studio where she created many hand built ceramic vessels and fun sculptures. From there, she stumbled into sewing and started a handbag line under the name Mackerilla Design. After many years of sewing bag designs, she wanted to return to art. She started painting in 2014 and has been creating custom portraits, murals and artwork to hang in galleries.

Q&A with Janice

Why are you making chalk art right now?

I was inspired by another local artist Lynn Guenther, who was chalking up her street here in the Circles on the Westside. Since business is slow due to the COVID lockdown, people are not spending money on art and prints right now. I have not been getting many orders for artwork so I have the time to create some new art pieces for myself and chalk up around my home, up and down the street.

How do you choose what to make?

I have been getting some requests from the neighborhood kids and adults. And just whatever pops into my head at the moment, as well as what would be fitting for certain areas around here.

Anything else you want to share?

Where I live (in the Circles), we are a tight knit community. We all support each other, watch out for each other, are friends and hang out. I feel lucky to live in this area with such awesome people. So basically I am creating street art for them.

Follow Janice on Instagram to see more of her work.

DIY Chalk Recipe

No Chalk, No Problem!

You can make your own chalk paint with 3 simple ingredients: Cornstarch, water & food coloring.

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Materials Needed

  • Cornstarch
  • Water
  • Food Coloring (Gel food coloring makes brighter colors)
  • Measuring Spoon
  • Paintbrushes
  • Muffin Baking Tin (or something to split up the colors)
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Instructions

  1. Gather all your materials and head outside
  2. Add 1 tbsp of cornstarch to each muffin section of the tin (or however many colors you want to make)
  3. Add 2 tbsp of water to each section
  4. Add 3-4 drops of food coloring or 1-2 squirts of gel coloring
  5. Mix using separate paint brushes for each color
  6. Create your masterpiece!

It goes on wet and dries looking like chalk. And, If you want white, just don't add any food coloring to it

Happy creating! Be sure to tag us on social media @santacruzmah – we look forward to seeing what you come up with! Plus, follow along on social media as we unveil incredible chalk art by FIVE local artists, including Janice, in Abbott Square next week.