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Students “chalking up” their art skills

chalk it up 2019 practiceOn a recent fall afternoon, students from Edison High School and Rogers Academy were outside, soaking up the sun as they drew butterflies, bees and other nature-themed designs on a concrete space surrounding an overlooked green space outside of Edison’s main building. It might have looked like a typical art class from a visitor’s perspective, but the students were carefully preparing for the citywide Chalk It Up art competition to be held on Oct. 12.  

The 16th annual Artpace fundraiser will challenge over 80 school groups to create original murals based on the theme of sustainability. The free event showcases artists and school teams and raises funds for arts programming while promoting downtown San Antonio as a thriving arts and culture destination. 

“I am really excited about Chalk It Up,” said student Zana Fredrick. “Sustainability is important because if we use more things that are sustainable, the world will be a better place. This is a good theme.”

Students from more than a dozen school districts in the San Antonio area will participate in the TeamWorks Mural Competition, which challenges groups of up to 10 students to collaborate on 10-foot by 8-foot mural on Houston Street downtown. According to Artpace, students play an integral role in the festival, creating original works of art that are on view throughout the event. Murals are judged in secret and winners are awarded in each grade level category.

In addition to practicing for Chalk It Up, the outside art day was a great way to highlight a neglected green space on the Edison campus, according to Kimberly Garza, fine art teacher at Edison. 

“Teachers from Edison’s and Roger’s theater, history and art departments got together to address this space that has so much potential,” she said. “We hope to renovate it and hopefully attract what we will be drawing for this year’s Chalk It Up...bees and butterflies! It fits perfectly with Chalk It Up’s sustainability theme.”

Michael Stoltz, art teacher at Rogers Academy, brought a class of art students to Edison to collaborate with the older students on various panels being drawn. 

“It is really impactful when younger students see the older students working with the materials and doing creative things,” he said. “It inspires them to continue to do art.” 


chalk it up practice


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