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Chalk-drawing competition creates memories, opportunities

For about 15 years, art teacher Sharon Scharf has been taking students to The Big Fresno Fair to compete in the anual chalk-drawing competition. This year campus students created three different teams to finish three drawings that correlated to the theme, “Passport to Fun,” Oct. 9.

Each team was given a black chalk-board on an easel when the competition began at 8 a.m.. Each school or team was responsible for supplying their own chalk and any other materials needed. The students were under a deadline as they are required to finish their drawings by 2 p.m. in order to be judged.

Though FC teams didn’t win any awards, the seven campus students were able to spend time exploring the fair and spending time with one another. After hours of working, the finished product leaves the students covered in chalk dust as they turn in their projects to be judged.

Scharf brought along seven of her art students who wanted to compete which included both returners and first-timers.

“I brought seven students,” Scharf said. “I beg for volunteers because not many students want to come out and do this {chalk-drawing}. It can be kind of intense and these are the seven that decided to come. It gets our school represented and I get to visit with good artists and some of the other teachers. It also gets the kids names out there in the art world. It’s intense drawing but it’s fun for them {students}.”

For senior Stefi Peck, she returned to the fair for the second time to compete in the chalk-drawing competition because of the fun it includes. She was in a team with Kevin Thao, ’13, Joshua Thao, ’14, and Daniel Thao, ’16, who are all brothers.

“This is my second time doing it {chalk-drawing},” Peck said. “I like being here because I get to go in and experience the joys of the fair. I really like using chalk because of the way it blends and how vibrant the colors are. The boards this year are a lot smoother than last year. And it definitely helps that they are on easel.”

Team Thao plus Peck was able to efficiently work due to the size of their team. Peck also appreciated their idea and how the executed it.

“The theme was ‘Passport to Fun’ so we had the idea to draw a suitcase with a bunch of fair-related things in it,” Peck said. “I like working in a team because it’s easier to get things done. You get really messy, and that’s really the only downside.”

Seniors Jessica Healy and Katherine Bennett competed as a first-year team. Healy enjoyed the time spent with her peers as well as the fair experience.

“This is my first year at the chalk-drawing contest,” Healy said. “It’s been good because the weather is nice. My hands are covered in chalk and we have made a bunch of jokes. We are having fun together and are getting to know each other better. Mrs. {Sharon} Scharf asked me to do it and I decided it would be fun because I enjoy drawing things.”

With many schools being represented, freshman Antonio Quezada from Roosevelt High School was also a first-timer at the competition.

“This is my first year at the chalk-drawing,” Quezada said. “It’s pretty cool. People are trying their best for fun or for the competition to see who will win. The theme is “Passport to Fun” but we didn’t really follow it, we just drew something that was “out of this world.” The drawing is the best part and getting people to encourage you when they walk by is fun too.”

Marrissa Wright, a junior from Kerman High School, likes the opportunity to get to showcase her art at the fair.

“It’s pretty interesting overall because it’s a new experience for me,” Wright said. “It gives me new opportunities for my art and to make friends. I pretty much want to represent the fair and a girl being picked up by balloons. I’m just having fun, but if I win anything that’s just a bonus.”

For some students, they compete all throughout high school like senior Katie Barisic who has competed all four years of her high school career.

“I have come every year, this is my fourth year,” Barisic. “Aside from a day off of school, it’s really fun. You get to come here and spend the day at the fair. Sometimes this is the only chance I get to come to the fair. I love to eat all the fair food, that’s my favorite part. It’s not really something that anyone is really good at, but it’s something everyone likes to do.”

For more features, read the Oct. 9 article
Freshmen begin planning homecoming float.

Editor’s note: Please return later for an added VIDEO of the chalk drawing competition.

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