Students show creativity, club pride through chalk art

By Tony Castellano

With chalk in hand, students gathered at University Park on May 8 to participate in this year’s Chalk Festival.

There were no judges, but contests went on. The two-week rain delay conflicted with the schedule of the judges for the Chalk Festival this year.

“We decided to postpone it instead of canceling it because it’s the sixth annual of many more to come,” said ASI Beat Programming Chair Mayra Barajas.

This event has been successful in the past as the weather has never been a factor in the sidewalk art.

“The chalk festival has several themes,” said ASI beat member Maria Lisa. “One is eat, meet, study and play, and the another is Cal Poly Spirit, the last is freestyle.”

Originally a Cal Poly Pomona art alumnus, a teacher and an art student were going to judge the Chalk Art Festival. The 13 pre-registered groups were able to draw whatever they wished with no competition restrictions.

Instead of being critiqued on the three competitive themes, registered groups and walk-up artists alike were able to go to the furthest extremes of their imagination to make the sidewalks of campus look even better and represent the groups they take part in.

“They [participating students] get to express themselves, they get to relieve stress during midterms week and a lot of people enjoy it,” said Barajas.

Much of the art that was created on the sidewalks of CPP for the purpose of representing clubs and organizations on campus.

“This is for my sorority Kappa Delta,” said first time Chalk Festival participant Tiffanie Rodriguez. “I’m not sure what were going to draw. Right now I’m just winging it.”

The Chalk Festival was a good way to represent club affiliations and school pride.

“I’m doing this for Hermanos Unidos, to get my organization together,” said fourth-year mechanical engineer and women’s studies student Carlos Gonzalez. “I thought this was a good opportunity to get our organization together in the campus community and build more of a community environment within Cal Poly Pomona.”

There were multiple ways of finding out about the Chalk Festival this year.

“We heard about it through Facebook and signed up,” said Gonzalez, who has only drawn with chalk as a young child. “We’re trying to become more involved on campus.”

Other groups participated to show that they are still a part of campus activities.

“We’re trying to show that we’re still active on campus, even though we’re known for doing our Rose Float every January,” said Rose Float President Karissa Perez.

Rose Float club contributed to the sidewalks of CPP with a preview of next year’s Rose Float theme.

Other organizations chose to draw their club logo.

“It was one of the logos that we came up with and debated on when we first started HAPA, a club for students with mixed cultural backgrounds and relationships,” said Justine Budisantoso, a fourth-year hotel and restaurant management student.

“We didn’t know what to draw, so we drew ourselves,” said sixth-year Spanish student Michael Fonseca. “I like being able to see what other students are doing and get inspired by their work.”

Fonseca and a friend drew a surrealistic image of themselves, as they were inspired to contribute as they walked by the Chalk Festival.

Even though there was no official contest at the Chalk Festival this year, participants found inspiration to create art. At the end of the festival, artists walked away knowing they contributed to campus scenery.

Chalk Festival at University Park

Tony Castellano / The Poly Post

Chalk Festival at University Park

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