chalkarthandslidr In what has become something like local tradition in Belmont Shore, 60 people dropped to their knees on the sidewalks of Second Street last Saturday and began to draw. With colorful stubs of chalk as their only medium, this diverse group of students, career artists and those who draw as a hobby created works that ranged from cartoonish and funky to elegant and Victorian.

It was 8th annual Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest in Belmont Shore, another event from the  not-for-profit organization named Justin Rudd. Entry was free, and participants were provided with supplies, lunch, and a space in which to create their drawings in front of countless passers-by. chalkartlegside

Contrary to what might be implied by something called the Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest, the artists hunkered down on the cold, hard concrete were actually applying their images to a 38 inches x 50 inches sheet of paper, which gave the art some permanence beyond the next rainfall. Artists were able to take their entries home, sell them to spectators, or as in some cases, hold silent auctions for the drawings as they were being created.

The Chalk Art Contest allows spectators to experience two very different facets of public art at once. The opportunity to observe as artists do their thing can be rare, but gives onlookers an idea of the artist’s process of creation. And when was the last time you remember hearing of a chalk art gallery opening?  Probably a year ago, at the 7th annual Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest. chalkartboxslider

The event demonstrated there is a large, vibrant community of visual artists dedicated to a medium that often falls under the radar, even in the midst of the recent popularity of street art.

In conjunction with the chalk contest, Rudd also displayed entries in his “Say Cheese Long Beach” photography contest. chalkartkneepad The contest, now in its 4th year, displayed entries from over 100 area photographers and aimed to capture the diversity of Long Beach in a 24-hour period. Moe Notsu of Long Beach was awarded Best in Show and Jennifer Ripassa of Encino took home first prize.

Next up for Rudd’s nonprofit Community Action Team: a Halloween Kids’ Costume Contest and the Long Beach Turkey Trot.