Art Students ‘Chalk It Up’ On Campus


Bottom left: photographed by Americas Huerta.

Justice Harris, Staff Editor

On the way to class with your head hung low, a sudden emergence of vivid hues catches your attention; from blues to pinks and yellows, you name it. The once pale grey concrete is now etched with colorful chalk creations, each sidewalk panel unique and different. 

Students took to the sidewalk on Friday, April 29 to decorate the campus walkways in an all-day event, ‘Chalk It Up’.  

Hosted by the art department, the day allowed students to partake in a tradition that can be seen across the city; most notably mirrored by ‘Chalk the Block,’ a signature downtown event. 

 “It’s been a Chapin tradition since 2004,” art teacher Ana Valdez said. “It started because a military wife was here in El Paso and she was a native Californian, and in the town that she was from, they used to do it city-wide. So, she stopped by Chapin and told the art teacher about what they did in California and then the principal got on board. Ever since we’ve had it every year.” 

 In order to participate, students had to turn in a draft of an uncopyrighted reference image, be passing their classes, and have permission from all their A-day teachers to be out of class all day. 

“It was just a little bit stressful,” sophomore Amaris Vasquez said. “I feel that my drawing was very detailed and I really didn’t think that it would take the whole day, but it did. I actually didn’t even get to finish, but it was honestly really fun for me.” 

Basking out in the sun for eight hours may not provide the most ideal working environment, but sophomore Leon Rodarte saw it through to the end. 

“[By the end of the day,] my legs were hurting, my back was hurting, everything was hurting, and I was covered in chalk,” Leon said. “But I got to interact with other students, and I saw a lot of other students’ drawings and I thought that they were really good.” 

For Amaris, the work and preparations paid off as the event gave students the opportunity to highlight their creativity, art styles, and leave a piece of their personality on the school grounds. 

“My drawing was a picture from Coraline because that’s my favorite movie,” Amaris said. “I did it with a partner, so I was Coraline and she was Wybie, but instead of them, it was drawn like ourselves. My favorite part of the day was everyone coming out to see the drawings. It was nice to see them so amazed by it.” 

The artworks are located in front of the fine arts building and can be seen by anyone commuting around campus. Even students outside of the program like senior Valencia Vega have gained a positive experience from the event’s outcome. 

“It’s beautiful,” Valencia said. “I like that you can get a glimpse into, not only the artist, but their interests and how they choose to express themselves. We clearly have a lot of talented artists here.”