Main Street business group draws up a new interactive summertime art installation
‘Chalk of the Town’ artists commissioned to create 3D works
Summit County resident Sarah Means is one of three visual artists who is participating in “Chalk of the Town,” a new public-art program presented by the Historic Park City Alliance.
Means, along with Salt Lake County-based artists Camille Grimshaw and Nicole Kleinman, are taking turns creating three-dimensional street art that will be on exhibit on or near Main Street as weather permits throughout the summer, said Meisha Ross, Historic Park City Alliance marketing consultant.
“The whole idea is to have different artists creating a new work each week for the next three weeks in a different location,” Ross said. “The idea is the piece will be finished by Friday of each week, so people can come up throughout the week to see them working through the process and then revisit on the weekends when they are all done.”
The outdoor “Chalk of the Town” gallery is free and open to the public, according to Ross.
“We encourage people to take photos and tag #historicparkcity on their social media platforms,” she said. “We hope people enjoy what they see, because we want to bring this back in the late summer to welcome the fall.”
Means’s piece is on the Swede Alley side of the walkway that features Franz the Bear. Grimshaw, who coordinates chalk art festivals for the Foster Care Society, will begin working on a piece next week at Shores Plaza, going up towards Park Avenue, and Kleinman, as the final artist, will start her work on June 7 near the Egyptian Theatre, according to Ross.
Means, a painter by trade, said her work measures 10 feet by 10 feet and highlights things she loves about Park City.
“Part of the reason many of us live here is because of the ski season and the other outdoor activities that are available in the summertime,” she said. “Skiing is the first thing I thought about, because my whole family skis. And I’m trying to incorporate some 3D elements.”
Mean’s work creates an illusion that there is a hole in the walkway’s bricks.
“It’s called anamorphic perspective, so when people view it, they will need to see it from a certain place to get the right effect,” she said.
Creating outdoor chalk art requires the artists to overcome unique challenges, according to Means.
“Well, right now it’s drizzling, but when I’m in the studio, that isn’t an issue,” she said with a laugh on Tuesday. “Also, the surface is on the ground and has a lot of street dirt on it, so you have to clean it more. Plus, you’re also starting with a surface that already has color and texture, so you have to start from a different mindset. Since I’m on brick, I have to adjust my perspective according to that.”
Alison Kuhlow, the outgoing executive director of the Historic Park City Alliance, brought the “Chalk of the Town” concept to the organization’s marketing committee after seeing interactive chalk art in other cities.
“We wanted to create an experience that allowed visitors to enjoy the creations at their leisure as we support our business members in their continued recovery from the impacts of COVID-19,” she said in a statement.
The committee worked hard to find chalk artists who could create interesting and engaging work, according to Ross.
“We reached out to chalk art festivals in Salt Lake to tap into this elaborate artist community,” she said. “Then we put out a call for artists, and selected three who really showcased unique and different works that highlighted the things we love about Park City.”
Means is honored to be selected for the project.
“It feels like I am being involved in the art community, and it’s important that we support each other, and expose the local community to art,” she said. “Public art is important because it reaches everyone who is walking down the street. They don’t need to go into a gallery to see how important art is.”
Means said she discovered art because she didn’t have cable TV growing up.
“I spent a lot of time drawing, and my step-mother says that I walked around asking, ‘What can I draw?’” she said.
Means started college as an English major, but took every art elective she could.
“One day, I had a professor ask me why I wasn’t an art major,” she said. “So that’s what I decided to do.”
Where: Main Street
When: Throughout the summer
For information about Sarah Means’ art, visit sarahmeansart.com
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