Chalk the Kee aims to bring art to the entire village

During the COVID-19 pandemic, with so many health restrictions, some are finding new ways to safely host activities.

One example is Waunakee’s Chalk Walk and the ensuing Color Walk, which its organizers have transformed into a weeklong event that hopefully will result in colorful creations throughout the entire community.

“In the past, all our Chalk Walks have been a combination of artists drawing on the sidewalks along Village Park and the Color Walk, where you’re blasted with color,” said Connie Gavinski program coordinator at the Village Center. “With the restrictions, we can’t get all those people together and can’t socially distance.”

This year, Chalk the Kee will focus on chalk drawings throughout the village.

“We decided to give people the option of drawing whenever they want to for week, wherever they want to,” Gavinski said. Participants can then avoid excessively hot or rainy days for the activity.

The Village Center partnered with the Waunakee Area Chamber of Commerce and local businesses who have given permission for participants to draw at their storefronts. They can also draw at the library paths, local parks or their own driveways.

Participants in Chalk the Kee will be asked to register beforehand and indicate where they will be drawing during the week of Aug. 16-22. They will be given an artist’s number to place in the corner of their completed drawing and then they can photograph it to enter into a contest.

Afterwards, the Create Waunakee Committee will vote on the contest winners.

The contest categories include ages 5 and under, ages 6-12, ages 13-17 and adult. A group category is also available for two or more people of any skill level who want to collaborate.

Participants can register online or by calling the Village Center. A week prior, a date will be set for participants to pick up their artist pastels and documents explaining all the details.

Winners will be announced afterwards, and the Village Center is compiling prizes from local businesses.

Each year, the Village Center offers a class to accompany the Chalk Walk that teaches sidewalk art techniques.

“Basically, it’s taking a small picture and gridding it, putting it on a grid, into a larger form,” Gavinski said. “It’s a pretty easy technique. You can use a chalk line, ruler or things like that, and it’s a really great way to take something small and make it bigger.”

The workshop will cover other techniques, such as blending colors using sponges, brushes, water or spray bottles. Gavinski said cut up pool noodles are a good tool, as well.

“So they’ll show them some of those things and give them some pointers on how to make their sidewalk-chalk art pretty amazing,” Gavinski said.

The intent is to get the entire community involved, she added, and that’s why the Village Center reached out to the Chamber and local businesses.

“It would be nice to decorate the whole village. I know during quarantine a lot people were out decorating their own sidewalk and driveway, and it was kind of nice. You’d go out for walks and see that,” Gavinski said. “It would be a great opportunity to see it throughout the village, not just at people’s homes.”

To register for Chalk the Kee, call the Village Center at (608) 850-5992 or visit the website www.waunakee.com/recreation.

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