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  • Hector Amezcua /

    Julia Flippo of Rancho Cordova draws George Harrison and the other Beatles on a Fremont Park sidewalk Sunday. The Chalk It Up festival ends today. Chalk It Up is a nonprofit group dedicated to funding children's art education in the area.

  • Hector Amezcua /

    Among the artists of all stripes at the Chalk It Up festival Sunday, Diana Bassi of Sacramento, a first-grade teacher at Elk Grove's Franklin Elementary School, works on her zebra creation at Sacramento's Fremont Park.

  • Hector Amezcua /

    Jessica Songco, 17, wears some of the chalk she and twin sister Johanna used to draw Dr. Seuss characters. The twins were participating in their first Chalk It Up festival.

Chalk artists, young and old, turn out for Sacramento festival

Published: Monday, Sep. 2, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1B

Chalk art isn't just for kids anymore.

"I think it's great," said Brittany Dyke, 21, of Rio Linda. "I really enjoy the depth that the artists can go into with their chalk. It's impressive."

Dyke was one of the hundreds who enjoyed the art, music and food at the Chalk It Up festival, which ends today at Fremont Park in Sacramento.

On Sunday, chalk art depicting everything from cartoon characters to landscapes covered sidewalk squares around the park.

Dawn Pedersen, 46, of West Sacramento was putting the finishing touches to a realistic portrait of her 3-year-old son, Theo, wearing a firefighter's helmet.

Pedersen, a 19-year contributor to the festival, said she sponsors herself via her website,

Her technique is to layer on colors to create depth. "I don't have any fingerprints, since I blur (the chalk) with my hands," she said.

On the other end of the art spectrum, twins Jessica and Johanna Songco, 17, of Rancho Cordova were re-creating Dr. Seuss characters for their sponsor, the Capitol Area Development Authority.

This was the first time the twins were doing chalk art at the festival, and their faces and hands were covered in an assortment of chalk colors as they worked.

"You just get it all over yourself and the dust gets into the air," said Johanna Songco, who said she learned from watching friends.

"We worked 10 hours yesterday because it's so much fun," she said. "But my legs are cramping up."

Steven Gonzalez, 38, of Sacramento depicted familiar area landmarks on four squares, including the Tower Bridge and state Capitol.

"I wanted something family oriented and that people could relate to," he said of the design, which he called a group effort.

Gonzalez said he did the original sketch, and a number of family members and St. HOPE Public Schools students filled in the colors.

"It's temporary," he said, explaining why he likes doing chalk art. "You enjoy the moment of working on it, and then you know that it will be gone."

Aniya Silva, 10, of Sacramento was among the younger artists to try her hand at chalk art.

"I had a different idea, but it was too big," Aniya said, using a brush to spread chalk on her orange and yellow angel.

Her mother, Sarina Silva, 33, brought out Aniya's sketchbook and flipped to the original design, which had three angels, two women, six kids and a school building.

Even though Aniya downsized her artwork, Silva said she was proud of her daughter.

"It's exciting for her and it's a great experience," she said.

Sacramento resident Erika Lipkes, 29, inspired by a photo of gazelles, described her art design as a protest of a proposal to build a natural history museum in Sacramento that would include a gallery of stuffed exotic animals.

"I want to get people to feel an emotional impact," she said of the drawing.

Her artwork was sponsored by an art collective, Exhibit S studios, and the Humane Society of the United States.

Call The Bee's Tillie Fong, (916) 321-1006.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

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