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Art students test abilities through chalk-drawings (VIDEO)

Every year, a select amount of students participate in The Big Fresno Fair chalk-drawing contest. This year, four groups — ten students in all — participated in this competitive and time-limited event.

From 8 a.m. and 2 p.m., entrants were given a large blackboard to draw on with chalk. Additionally, they were allowed to have a pre-designed image to base their pieces off of. Usually, art teacher Sharon Scharf provides the chalk her students use.

Scharf has been entering students in the competition for at least ten years and, though students have placed, FC has yet to place in first. In spite of this, Scharf continues to send students to the event because she believes that the experience is refreshing for the art department.

“I enjoy doing this every year,” Scharf said. “I enjoy visiting with the teachers from Riverdale [High School] and Hallmark Charter [School]. We share ideas, which helps us each with our teaching.”

The theme of this year was, ?It?s a Jungle Out There,? and many students used illustrations of exotic animals to demonstrate it. Kendall Wheeler, ?12, attended the event for the first time and found the entire ordeal to be very entertaining.

?I thought the process was really fun and exciting since I had never done it before,? Wheeler said. ?I like the experience and I’m kind of sad I didn’t start doing it earlier in high school.?

Wheeler worked with three other student, and showcased the theme by combining a scene with both pastoral and exotic animals. One such example of this is the combination of a pig and a lion.

?It was kind of difficult to come up with an idea that brought together the theme and the fair considering they’re two completely different things,? Wheeler said. ?The billboard for the fair was the initial inspiration. Then we just thought we’d make it fun and change all the animals to jungle-y animals and add some leaves to bring in the theme.?

Scharf enjoys choosing groups of students every year, however, because the queen pageant was set on the same day, many of the participants were pushed for time, and decided to come back to FC before their allotted time ran out.

Scott Jennings, ’12 faced this problem, but felt that this did not cripple his chances of winning. However, he felt that his teammate, Brady Lee, ’12, was in a rush to finish on time.

?It didn’t make that much of a difference, but I think Brady was in rush,? Jennings said. ?It would have been cool if I’d been able to stay at the fair longer and maybe make a few minor adjustments.?

Though Jennings has participated in this competition for three years, he still finds it difficult because of the unpredictable complications.

?The chalk smears and the wind kept on blowing all the papers around,” Jennings said. “It’s just messy. But I really like just hanging out with friends and having fun with people who have something in common with you.”

When the judging had finished, though no student placed, Katie Barisic, ’13 received an honorable mention for her depiction of Disney’s Simba.

?I feel good because I know I did better than I did last year,? Barisic said. ?I was happy that I was recognized and I’m looking forward to doing better next year.?

At the end of the competition, some students’ pieces were smeared when they were brought to the judging stations. Wheeler thinks that it was the result of sabotage.

?A lot of the pieces were smeared and stuff, and it looked like someone had taken their hand and wiped it on the boards,” Wheeler said. I think that it’s so sad. I mean, it’s a piece of art that someone worked extremely hard on and spent a lot of time with and to see how some people just mess it up is really sad. I don’t know why someone would even want to do that.?

Despite this unfortunate occurrence, Scharf enjoys familiarizing students with different events, simply letting the students become avidly involved in the community.

“It [competing] gets our name out there, and our students can ‘pierce the darkness’ we sometimes see in the artwork at the fair,” Scharf said. “I also enjoy having moms help drive and getting to visit with them. We have a lot of fun! Students are already planning on what they will draw next year!”

For more information, read the Oct. 10 article,
The Big Fresno Fair features attractions, FC students (VIDEO).

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