Chalk up Auburn’s first virtual sidewalk art contest as a success

Chalk up Auburn’s first virtual sidewalk art contest as a success
Colorful creations were recognized in a virtual art contest in Auburn. (contributed)

But for the COVID-19 pandemic, residents and visitors to Auburn would have strolled the sidewalks of the city during the annual July SummerNight Downtown Art Walk.

Instead, the city and local art lovers collaborated virtually to create and share their own works – online – in the city’s first, virtual sidewalk art contest.

The event was a partnership between the Auburn Arts Association and the Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center (JDCAC). It challenged Auburn residents to create sidewalk art inspired by their favorite artist or architectural piece. Many of the pieces were done in chalk, in keeping with the sidewalk theme.

“We were disappointed that we could not offer our SummerNight Downtown Art Walk and our summer art camps,” said Sara Custer, of JDCAC. “So, we combined elements from both events to create our first virtual event for Auburn residents to enjoy.”

Participants submitted a photo of their artwork via email and included three facts about the artist, the architectural piece or three reasons why they were inspired to create their work. Adults and families competed for prizes in three categories. Children’s art was judged separately.

Garnetta “Chichi” Lovett, a retired Auburn University professor who has invested more than two decades in Auburn’s art community and lives in Washington, D.C., judged the contest.

Winners were announced on the Auburn Arts Association Facebook page:

  • Most Likely to Hang in a Museum, Randalyn Henry, inspired by Elizabeth Cartlett.
  • Most Creative, Jack Mantooth, inspired by Pablo Picasso.
  • Best Mixed-Media Effects, the Noh household, inspired by Claude Monet.
  • Best Child’s Work, Olivia Solinska, inspired by Salvador Dali.

Runners-up were:

  • Most Likely to Hang in a Museum, the Howell household, inspired by Vincent van Gogh.
  • Most Creative, Prachi Bhave, inspired by Andy Warhol.
  • Best Mixed-Media Effects, Sam Masdon, inspired by Prince.
  • Best Children’s Work, Harper Hendrix, inspired by Vincent van Gogh.

Winners from each category received a $100 gift card to the Auburn business of their choice. Runners-up won a $25 gift card to a local business of their choice.

To view photos of the winning artwork, visit

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