Big Fresno Fair contest draws Valley students
For the Big Fresno Fair's chalk-drawing contest, seniors Ashlyn White, from left to right, Bree Ainley and Andrew Evans work on their project. A total of 10 FC art students participated in this year's competition.
Art students from seven different high schools gathered together to participate in the annual Big Fresno Fair chalk-drawing contest, Oct. 13.
FC sent 10 students, equipped with chalk, to produce their best creations. The theme for this year's contest was "Show us your wild, wild best."
Art teacher Sharon Scharf has been taking groups to this event for six years. She considers it a great avenue for students to express their creativity, she said.
"The fair is a great experience for the art students to represent our school in the public eye," Scharf said. "They are challenged to produce a drawing in a set amount of time, which teaches discipline and organization."
Senior Anna Zuniga of Riverdale High School enjoyed missing school for a day to display her artistic talent in the contest, she said.
"This is my second year drawing at the Fresno Fair," Zuniga said. "I enjoy coming here, doing art and of course missing school. For our chalkboard piece, my group is drawing a gold nugget in the middle of a pan, with fair food all around."
Students worked outside on the pavement, where spectators could view their work. The fair's superintendent of fine arts and photography, Joe Levy, was thrilled to see students working on their chalk art despite the hot weather, he said.
"The chalk art contest excites me, because the young students enjoy their artwork," Levy said. "To see them working in the hot sun and still having fun is exciting. The originality and the cleverness of the students show through their artwork."
Scharf thought her students worked well together and produced good art for her standards, she said.
Juniors Austen Houts, left, Bianca Hinojosa, back, and Lizzie Williams create their chalk piece during the contest. At the awards ceremony, this group received an honorable mention.
"I think it turned out pretty good," Scharf said. "It was a little warm, but it was better than last year, when we got rained on. Our students had thought out the drawings well and executed them in a really professional manner."
Participants had about four hours to complete their art. Once their works were completed, the students spent time exploring the sights and sounds of the fair. Junior Scott Jennings enjoyed his experience at the fair, he said.
"I enjoyed drawing and having fun with friends, doing something I loved," Jennings said. "Later on I walked around and saw the different foods. The fried Oreos looked very weird. I didn't eat any because I had football practice in a couple of hours."
Everyone involved in the competition met back in the Fine Arts & Photography Building at 3 p.m. to see which teams were awarded trophies. Nervous tension mounted as the judges tallied up the final points for each drawing.
"With art everything is subjective; you never know how the judging will turn out," Scharf said. "I was optimistic about how things would turn out."
Levy called for everyone's attention as he stepped in front of the trophy table. He announced "Wild Wild Best," created by juniors Lizzie Williams, Bianca Hinojosa and Austen Houts, as an honorable mention. Their art portrayed a prized jar of wild gooseberry jam, with a big "best of show" ribbon on it.
"It was nice to get an honorable mention," Williams said. "You go just to have fun, but it's nice to see that your work paid off. I think we worked well; we're all friends and we love art."
For more information, read the Oct. 22, 2009, article, Chalk contest highlights artistic outlet, or e-mail Scharf. Be sure to listen to Brooke Stobbe's Big Fresno Fair Podcast as well.