San Antonio streets come to life at Chalk It Up 2016

Jade Cuevas

While live music, laughter and other sounds of merriment aren’t unusual to downtown’s Houston St., a different sound could be heard this past Saturday. In place of the cars usually whizzing by were sounds of hundreds of San Antonians furiously scribbling chalk onto the brick road.

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UTSA’s Clay Fusion student organization created artwork displayed at Chalk It Up.

On Saturday Oct. 8, Artpace’s Chalk It Up, a non-profit San Antonio contemporary art gallery and arts organization, celebrated its 13th annual transitioning of downtown’s Houston St. into a five-blocks-wide interactive canvas. The free art festival primarily promotes arts education in junction with promoting the local San Antonio art community.

The event hosted live music, food trucks and extra art-related activities—some free of charge, some a dollar donation charge.

Everyone from featured San Antonio artists, San Antonio organization team works to someone who simply owns a pack of chalk were encouraged to cultivate a work of art. The variety of artists the event gathers created an environment in which someone could find themselves stepping over detailed portraits of Selena Quintanilla or playing a quick game of hopscotch a group of children graciously supplied.

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One team work included UTSA’s Clay Fusion student organization. While the team was at Chalk It Up to raise funds, Taylor Bowman, a member of UTSA Clay Fusion explained how her second experience of Chalk It Up went.

“We decided to come out, have a good time and do some two-dimensional art for a change. It’s different than what we usually do, but it’s fun to shake it up a bit,” Bowman said. “We’ve had a lot of fun this year; it’s been great meeting new people and representing UTSA.”

The team’s chalk artwork featured an artist working on a pottery wheel next to an image of a piece pottery that adorned UTSA’s signature logo of Rowdy’s head. “Keeping it wheel” is displayed at the bottom of the artwork as a final note.

“We came here with no plan,” Bowman said. “We just wanted to come out and draw.”

While partly based off a sketch from one of the group members, the work of chalk art is mainly freestyle—an embodiment of the easygoing vibe Chalk It Up curates.

“And we have a pun because we like to be cute,” Bowman laughed.