Chalk art festival inspires hope, neighborhood cheer in University Place.
It was hot Saturday afternoon, but University Place resident Wendy Reuter paid no attention. She found a shady sidewalk near her home, put on her straw hat and wielded sidewalk chalk as if she illustrated children’s books.
Her whimsical designs, including a unicorn, a garden gnome and a frog eating a fly, were inspired by her 5-year-old granddaughter, Sienna Mathenia, who lives in Illinois.
“She loves fairy garden things,” said Reuter, who has a winding, gnome garden at her home in Pennsylvania. “I wanted to do something whimsical to lighten people’s hearts during this time.”
Reuter represented one of dozens of families in University Place who participated in the #ChalkYourBlock Chalk Art Festival on March 28. Neighbors decorated their driveways with chalk drawings and also donated commercially prepackaged snacks and treats for health care workers at local hospitals.
Event organizer Lissa Pygott said she saw the idea on Instagram and thought it would be a great way to spread neighborhood cheer.
“Over the last two weeks of being home and practicing social distancing, I’ve noticed more people out walking and riding bikes than ever before,” she said. “We have a lot of young families, so a chalk art ‘festival’ just felt like a fun thing to do for the community.”
Many families said they worked on their project throughout the week.