Students ‘Chalk the Walk’ in the Oak Grove

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Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s chapter of the National Art Education Association, in conjunction with The Lively Arts, celebrated Wednesday’s sunny, warm weather by co-sponsoring the 23rd annual “Chalk the Walk” event in the Oak Grove.

About 80 to 100 students participated in the event.

The grand prize of $100 went to Liz Richards (senior, art). Second place, a prize of $50, went to Sarah Shelly (sophomore, nursing).

In addition to first and second place prizes, there were four “topic categories” from which students could choose to relate their artwork: social issues, political issues, human rights issues and environmental issues. Each of these categories yielded a $25 prize.

The prize for the social issues category went to Kaitlyn Mowery (sophomore,  psychology).

Laura Manganello’s (senior, communications media) drawing of Martin Luther King Jr. won the political issues category. Manganello said she participates in the event every year.

“This year, I chose to draw Martin Luther King Jr. to spark a discussion amongst students about the Baltimore and Ferguson riots,” she said in a Thursday email.

“People often say, ‘MLK would be rolling in his grave if he saw you acting like this,’ but in reality, MLK also stated that ‘a riot is the language of the unheard,’ and often supported less peaceful approaches to unacceptable situations in need of immediate change.”

The human rights issue category went to Alexa Titchen (sophomore, journalism and public relations) for her drawing of a woman glancing over her shoulder, where there was a barcode, to raise awareness for human trafficking.

Titchen wrote next to her artwork, “Humans aren’t meant to be sold. Human trafficking is a $32-billion industry. Let’s be a generation for change.”

“I decided to participate because three things I love were combined: nature, art and raising awareness of the darkness in the world,” Titchen said in a Thursday email. “Even if I didn’t win, I knew that whoever saw my drawing would then know at least one thing about human trafficking.”

The environmental issues prize went to Cory Glover (freshman, nutrition) and Archie Kromah (sophomore, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics).

This event was not exclusive to artists, but instead was open to the public, said NAEA President Kathryn Close (junior, art education).

“We’re hoping that students make their own messages out of the categories,” Close said. “It gives people who might not normally be doing art a chance to do that, and gives people who are walking through the Oak Grove a chance to participate in something that they might not have done, or at least relate to what the messages are.”

A total of 70 squares were blocked off for students to utilize. The Lively Arts supplied the chalk, NAEA supplied the manpower, and a variety of IUP students supplied the talent.

The “Chalk the Walk” judges were the following non-art professors: IUP President Michael A. Driscoll and his wife, Becky, Dr. Christine Baker,  Dr. David Ferguson, Dr. Marissa McClure, Meghan Moore, Cate Planisky, Ann Sesti, Dr. Susan Sibert, Dr. Theresa Smith and Dr. Bob Sweeny.