Students from Hannah Kendall’s art class spent Monday evening decorating squares of sidewalk with one-of-a-kind works of art. The Sidewalk Chalk Art Show, which included plenty of baked goodies and lemonade, was the end-of-the-year event for the local class that tries to foster creativity amongst area youngsters.
“We have notepads and we make pictures with different things that she has pictures of,” said 6-year-old Audrey Bunce, a Haviland kindergartener. “We don’t use crayons. Sometimes we work outside and sometimes we work inside. Mostly we use pencils and sharpies. I like that class, I have fun in there.”
Bunce was putting the finishing touches on a chalk snowman while her brother Ethan, mom Marcy, dad Joshua and 4-month-old baby brother Clayton took a respite from the late-day sun in the shade of the Origin’s Coffee House building.
“I like to draw people, bubberflies and mountains,” she added.
The second-year art student said she really likes her after-school art classes taught by Kendall, founder of local art imprint Studio K and co-owner of Origin’s Coffee House.
“My favorite color is pink. My second favorite color is purple and my third favorite color is light green. I draw [pictures of] my friends and I like to color in my new coloring book.”
Bunce said her 3D artwork, featured at a class-wide artshow in early March, was the favorite thing she’s every made.
“She loves to draw,” said her mother Marcy. “It’s probably her favorite thing to do. If she could choose anything to do it would be coloring and drawing. And she loves these classes. The best part is that the kids get to be creative.”
“And it is a break for mommy,” added her father Joshua.
A couple of squares to the right, Haviland third-grader Alyssa Beaman was admiring her rainbow colored chalk drawing of the word “Jesus.”
The theme of the chalk art show was “Favorite Things.”
“Even when I don’t go to church I really do love God,” said Beaman. “I pray to him every night about people who need to get saved so they will get better and about the bombing in Boston. Jesus will pray for everyone.”
Her piece was well-defined, colorful and striking, though she admitted she would rather draw pictures of flowers. “My favorite colors are purple, purple, red, yellow, light pink and turquoise,” she said.
She said she loved recess and her music classes with Haviland Grade School Music Teacher Kim Stewart.
“The classes are fun,” she added. “I love to be creative.”
Hunched over an unfinished mural of a football, William Scott furiously filled in large swaths of green grass with an ever-dwindling piece of bright green chalk.
Page 2 of 2 - “This is the wrong green,” he said. “They didn’t have the right green, but oh well.”
Scott was drawing exactly what he said was his favorite subject. “I draw footballs,” he commented.
Just a year away from tearing up the gridiron, Scott said he loves his art classes.
“It’s really fun. Sometimes it’s messy, but getting messy is fun,” said Scott proudly showing off his matching light green hands.
Asked to see more of his work, Scott darts for a nearby box filled with sketchbooks.
Each student in the class gets a sketchbook, paid for by a generous “full tuition” grant from the Haviland Recreation Commission (HRC). The HRC pays for all of the supplies and associated costs of the classes.
“We did the Statue of Liberty with a lot of help from Hannah,” said Scott flipping through pages until he found a drawing of the familiar green lady. “Then we went over it with a pen and then we colored over it.”
Asked if he would like to go to see the actually Statue of Liberty Scott replied, “sure.”
On another page Scott had drawn a picture of the nearby Friends Church. Making a bold socially satirical comment on the gentrification, absurdity and needlessness of the bourgeois art critic world, Scott brilliantly debunked the mythos of the self-deprecating artist by declaring, “I like everything about it.”
About 27 students took one of her three classes, said Kendall. She offers a class for kindergarteners, a second class for first-graders through fifth-graders and an advanced class for fifth-grade and older.
“I think art is inside of every kid; some of them know it and some don’t,” said Kendall. “There have been several students that have gained a lot of confidence because they have been able to accomplish projects and do things they never thought they could.”
Kendall, herself an artist, has encouraged parents to support children’s interests in the arts, though she admits in rural communities there is a lot of emphasis placed on sports.
“I want to encourage kids, especially kids that may not be as gifted with sports, to try art. I see kids that either have a lot of support at home or are naturally gifted come into my class and do things we haven’t taught them. It’s great to see.”