The sidewalks in Forest Grove have been able to look brighter these past two weekends. On Saturday Sept. 19, Pacific University students joined Forest Grove community members during the 25th annual Chalk Art Festival.
The Chalk Art Festival has been hosted by the Valley Art Gallery since its first year in 1991. Each year, they sell a sidewalk square on a series of streets for community members to show off their artistic talents.
Over 500 spaces were available for Pacific students and Forest Grove residents. By the day of the festival, all the spaces on College Way and Main Street were sold out.
“There are a lot of students and Pacific students have kind of re-energized since Jen Shield was a professor at Pacific, students were very into the Chalk Art Festival and then they kind of tapered off a little bit,” Co- Chair of Chalk Art Festival Philip Thias said. “Now I see that a lot of students are involved again.”
While some were participating solely for the artwork, many students were coming out to promote the clubs and organizations they are a part of.
“I’m here for the sociology and anthropology club,” senior Chelsea Hill said. “Our square design is more anthro-focused, but that’s what we’re trying to do, is to promote our organization to get more people involved with it. We have a lot of people who come through and walk around and check out all the artwork, so I definitely think it’ll help promote us.”
The Valley Art chairs are always eager for students to get more involved with Forest Grove events.
“I think if they (the students) knew more about it, they will get more involved,” Campus Event Scheduling Coordinator Roylene Read said. “Steve Klein is here, and purchased that big block of numbers in front of Milky Way to see if students will come out and do it or not, and I’ve seen a lot of clubs in that sections, so I think that’s really good.”
Their focus is on current Forest Grove High School students as well. Any proceeds that Valley Art makes from the Chalk Art Festival goes to scholarships for the Forest Grove High School students who plan to study art in college.
“Valley art is a non-profit organization, so we’re not into it for the money,” Read said. “We’re into it to promote art, and get people interested in art.”