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Let's talk chalk: 7th annual Dickinson Chalk Walk draws competition

The Phil Patterson Memorial Bandshell was awash in color as area residents participated in the annual Dickinson Parks and Recreation Chalk Walk event. Dickinson High School Art Club members showcased their artistic flair with a series of pieces highlighting young artists in the community.

Vivian Ramsey, 9, of Dickinson adds some surrounding to her rainbow at Veterans Memorial Park on Thursday.
Jason O'Day / The Dickinson Press
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DICKINSON — Dickinson Parks & Recreation hosted its seventh annual Chalk Walk at Veterans Memorial Park on Tuesday evening.

“The Chalk Walk aims to empower and support art appreciation by providing an opportunity for professional artists and people of the community to free hand with chalk and showcase their talents,” the parks department stated in a Facebook post. “Our event allows everyone the opportunity to engage in an outdoor activity that invites creativity by using chalk, and walking around to appreciate the art of others.”

Sunshine vibes
Jason O'Day / The Dickinson Press

This coincided with the park’s weekly summer bandshell concert series. Attendees jammed out to the country songs from a hometown band called Breaking Eight.

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The park department’s goal was to encourage creativity and sidewalk artistry throughout the park with competitions to make things interesting. With dozens of concrete squares chalk full of beautiful art and lots of community bonding, Dickinson Parks & Recreation Program Director Alissa Karsky said it was a success.

An octopus wanders the sidewalk.
Jason O'Day / The Dickinson Press

She said about 20 individual artists competed for a top spot. In the adult category the winners were Cassy Gerhardt in first place, Hector Nava in second and Rebecca Schuster in third. In the youth (under 18) category, winners included first place Burkley Luchi, 16, Madelyn Coleman, 16, and Sophia Patterson, 14.


“It's a great opportunity for individual youth and adults to chalk, compete and just have an event where there is art incorporated,” Karsky said. “There was also an art teacher in the community that got her students involved.”

Chalk cat
Jason O'Day / The Dickinson Press

Relay for Life, a cancer fighting charity, had a trailer selling food and concessions for a good cause. Board members with the Southwest Art and Science Center, an interactive museum slated to open at some point in 2023, provided information about their planned venture and helped young artists chalk their masterpieces. The bookstore Friends of the Dickinson Area Public Library sold children’s books.

Chalking Politics
It appears the 2024 Presidential election season has arrived.
Jason O'Day / The Dickinson Press

Several area businesses and other entities also competed by drawing creative renditions of their logos. In that competition Iron Works Welding took the gold, The Title Team took second and Wallwork Truck Center came in third.

Karsky noted that there’s still plenty of sidewalk left in the park and that anyone who would like to add their contribution to the concrete collage is encouraged to do so.

Pink fish
Madelyn Coleman, 16, took a bite out of the competition with this work of art by winning second place in the youth category.
Jason O'Day / The Dickinson Press
Chalk Walk Suess
The Chalk Walk was so cool that even the Lorax decided to show up.
Jason O'Day / The Dickinson Press
Other stories by Jason O'Day
During a City Commission meeting on Tuesday, Mayor Scott Decker argued in favor of increasing the sales tax as part of a plan to provide property tax relief while boosting funding to various municipal projects.

Jason O’Day is a University of Iowa graduate, with Bachelor’s Degrees in Journalism and Political Science. Before moving to Dickinson in September of 2021, he was a general news reporter at the Creston News Advertiser in rural southwest Iowa. He was born and raised in Davenport, Iowa. With a passion for the outdoors and his Catholic faith, he’s loving life on the Western Edge.
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