Earlier today, I had a chance to stop by The Chalk Mob, a collaborative art project between artists and the community, going on at Linwood Park. The day was partially overcast and windy, but the weather didn’t stop residents from taking part in this unique event.
Kate Galer, President, Friends of Linwood Park, said that the idea for this collaboration started with just a simple sidewalk chalk day in the park. From there, Todd Marrone, an art teacher at Welsh Valley, who has displayed his artwork in the past at Milkboy Coffee, took the premise a little farther: professional artists could draw the outlines for the art and community participants could fill them in with color, creating a temporary piece of artwork for the park. And so the event was born.
Galer said that recent arrests in the news for chalk drawing, including a mother arrested in Virginia for allowing her daughter to draw with chalk in a park, made this event particularly timely. “We want to encourage people to be creative” here at Linwood Park, Galer said. She went on to say that chalk art “is not graffiti, and the chalk washes away.” Part of the purpose of this event is to encourage residents to create art in Linwood Park any time, something that allows kids and adults to come together.
Two local Ardmore artists were involved in producing some of the art: Deidre Murphy, a professional painter who works at the Main Line Art Center and teaches painting and drawing at Penn, and Emily Selvin, a stained glass artist. They are good friends and working to try to create a more visible artists’ community in Ardmore, so this event was a natural fit for them.
Children whizzed around the park, from head toe in sidewalk and liquid chalk. Their dirty clothes, hands, faces, and feet were evidence that the project was a hit. As I was getting ready to leave, a group of children stood around a drawing and chanted in shrill, high-pitched voices, “make a mess, make a mess, make a mess!”
And they did—a unique blend of colored chalk drawings that evolved over the day. Check out some of the photos of the artwork below.