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Chalk One Up

06.22.12 / Emmy Yamaguchi

ARC with Sidewalk Sam

When was the last time you pulled out some chalk and drew on the ground?  Ten, twenty, thirty years ago?  Getting messy with chalk on our faces, hands, clothing and reveling in creating temporary artwork for passersby was how four of us from ARC spent our Tuesday afternoon.  Every year the Boston Society of Architects (BSA) along with Sidewalk Sam host the event, “Chalk One Up” for architects, designers, neighborhood organizations, etc. to come together and share their creativity and company spirit with the city.

Sidewalk Sam is an artist who holds a BFA and an MFA from Boston University and even studied at the acclaimed École des Beaux-Arts and the Académie de Grande Chaumière in Paris, but decided that “art for people’s sake” was more fulfilling than “art for art’s sake.”  He gained his fame from recreating famous pieces of art on sidewalks and making the joys of art accessible to all.  It was a pleasure to meet him and to see the effect this event had on passersby.  Children, parents, foreign businessmen, even rebellious looking teenagers lit up when Sam handed them gold stickers to use to vote on their favorite design.  People took pictures, smiled, talked to strangers, and seemed to really enjoy being an art critic for the day in the middle of busy Harvard Square.  

Click on the photo link below to watch a video compiled with photos and Sidewalk Sam answering the question, “What brought you to start this event?”

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