Art Club participates in city-wide Chalk It Up event


Photo By: Molly Tilton

Senior Jacklyn Servin chalks up Houston Street in downtown San Antonio. This is the 5th year Art Club has participated in this event.

Most people may think that streets are for driving and downtown is for tourism.

But one day out of every year, the streets of downtown San Antonio are reclaimed by its citizens to become transformed into something beautiful. Each year, on the second Saturday of October, nearly 80 schools, companies and professional artists meet downtown for the Chalk It Up event hosted by ArtPace, to decorate E Houston St. with colorful designs.  

The 16th annual Chalk It Up was held on Saturday, October 12 in a continuance of the founder’s mission to bring the community together to create beautiful art throughout San Antonio. 

“The mission is, at its essence, it’s about helping people create,” Chalk It Up Chair Katie Pace Howard said. “This is the single largest creative event in the city of San Antonio and it’s always free and open to the public.”

This was the fifth year that the Judson Art Club participated in this event. Every year, Judson students enjoy the festivities and creativity of this event as well as the useful skills they learn. 

“We’ve gone five years and the kids love it,” Art Club sponsor Mrs. Meg Trost said. “I think it’s just a nice camaraderie that the kids have because they’re able to see problems and they work together to solve the problems. They have to think [of solutions] on the spot to make changes, to rearrange, to recreate a visual piece from the original idea and that’s a great experience.”

This event requires a lot of preparation, both from the schools and the organization that puts it on. The Art Club students prepared for this event for nearly a month. 

“We started about a month ago getting ideas and as a club, they vote on the final idea,” Trost said. “From there they have to decide on the colors. Then they have to powder the background so they can lay it down quickly and it creates a primer.”

At the end of the day, there is a judging process where one school is picked as a winner, but for most of the students, it’s more about the act of being together and creating something as a group. 

“It [Chalk It Up] was a lot of fun,” sophomore Art Club vice president Serenity Parrish said. “Everybody worked together to create it and we actually finished this year, so that was a big accomplishment.”

The students were solely responsible for every aspect of the piece, from deciding on the theme to turning the chalk to powder. 

“It was a vote and we kinda decided on Halloween since its October,” Parrish said. “We had to make stencils, we created a pre-image, made sure we knew what colors to use, and hammered the chalk we needed.”

This is typically one of the biggest events of the year for Art Club and the increased student involvement and enthusiasm from this event has opened the door for even larger events. 

“This is usually one of our biggest events of the year, but this year we’re doing a bigger event through the McNay,” Trost said. 

Though the club’s piece did not win any awards, the take away was in the time spent with each other and the opportunity to get away from the repetition of the same old events. The Art Club has many exciting events planned for this year and Chalk It Up was just the first.