Artistic talents on display at Centennial Chalk Art Festival

Event featured live music, rock painting, local vendors and more

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Amidst the sea of artists decorating The Streets at SouthGlenn in Centennial, Katherine Chow worked for hours to create the vibrant chalk art piece, “Pokémon Jubilee,” on Sept. 24.

It was a family affair, with her 7-year-old child’s obsession for Pokémon being part of the inspiration behind the artwork and her husband, Josh Chow, helping draw elements of the piece.

This year was the first time Chow, a Centennial resident, participated in the Centennial Chalk Art Festival, an annual celebration that brings artists from across Colorado together to display their talents through unique pieces. 

She learned about it from a calendar that came in the mail which listed different events in Centennial, she said. 

“My favorite thing to do is to draw,” she said. “So I tried to draw some chalk art on my driveway, and my neighbors were like, ‘Wow, that’s really good.’ So I was like, we’ll just try.” 

She worked for about an hour the day before, outlining the piece, and began putting chalk to the pavement starting at about 8 a.m. Sept. 24. 

“Everybody’s loving it,” she said, explaining she liked seeing kids and adults alike enjoy the piece. 

The hard work paid off, as “Pokémon Jubilee” won the kids' choice award of the festival, Mayor Stephanie Piko announced, once public voting had concluded.  

The winner of the people’s choice award was “Untitled” by Phillip Bernal, which depicted a lion. The piece “Sunny Colorado” won the “Celebrate Centennial theme” award. 

“Every entry was wonderful,” Piko said. “It was — I’m sure, as you all felt — it was very hard to decide.” 

Kari Dusenbery, of Thornton, has been participating in the chalk art festival for more than five years. 

Kneeling on the ground, she carefully pressed black chalk against her temporary canvas, putting the finishing touches to her art piece of a peacock, which she named the “Screaming teacher.” 

Dusenbery is a teacher herself, teaching art and design for Mapleton Public Schools. 

“I really like peacocks,” Dusenbery said, explaining she envisions herself as a peacock sometimes. “I’m still beautiful, I got all my colors. And peacocks are really, you know, they’re calm. They screech a little bit.” 

The night before, Dusenbery painted the black background of the piece. She arrived at about 8 a.m. the day of the festival to create the colorful artwork as onlookers observed. 

“It’s been great. It’s always a fun time down here,” Dusenbery said. “They do a good job of taking care of the artists.” 

Just around the corner from Dusenbery, six employees from the Southglenn Library collaborated to create the “Library in the sea” art piece. 

They wanted to participate in the event because it was a good opportunity to do something together and be part of the community, while also helping advertise the library, employees said. 

Live music echoed through the streets as people walked by, many stopping along the way to admire the chalk art. A variety of booths and local vendors were also present at the event for people to visit. 

Children also had a chance to practice their artistic skills through the Centennial Arts and Cultural Foundation’s rock painting activity. 

“We wanted to thank you all for coming out today,” Piko said to the crowd of attendees. “We look forward to seeing you next year at our next chalk art festival.”

Centennial, Centennial Chalk Art Festival, SouthGlenn, Art

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