Students chalk it up

Alisa Boswell

Students ranging from seventh to 12th grade sat and colored pictures of owls, flowers, butterflies, anime and more Saturday outside the Roosevelt County Courthouse in Portales as part of the second annual K-ENMU Sidewalk Chalk Competition.

Event coordinator Dawn Wolf-Taylor, nursing education coordinator for Eastern New Mexico University, said she thought the turnout this year was about the same as last year but she felt the event was more successful due to moral support for the artists.

“I’m loving this year because there seems to be a lot of family and individual support,” Taylor said. “That’s what I’m seeing this year that’s great. I’m seeing kids of all ages having fun.”

Elizabeth “Tomoko” Bahrs, a junior at ENMU, drew a butterfly for the event, which received honorable mention at the end of the competition and earned her a $50 check.

“I liked the idea of chalking outside cause then I can do something big,” Bahrs said. “It sounded like fun and you need a break before finals.”

Portales High student Bethany Cota, 15, received the other honorable mention for the event. She drew a picture of a crying cupcake with a bite out of its top.

“I really like doing something funny and creative to get peoples’ feedback,” Cota said. “I like the expression you can have through it.”

One of the younger artists at the event was 13-year-old Yucca Junior High student Morgan Kyle, who drew an anime-like character for her art piece.

“I really like drawing. It relaxes me a lot and I like being creative,” Kyle said. “And chalk drawing is always fun cause it’s messy.”

Kyle said she felt she had done well with her drawing but thought other artists at the event had done better.

Portales High student Alex Herrera, 16, was named first place winner and received a $250 check.

“I feel lucky,” said Herrera after receiving first place. “I was hoping for honorable mention, honestly. It doesn’t matter what age or grade you are. It matters how well you bring across your ideas.”

Taylor said she enjoyed giving participants an opportunity to draw in the free draw, because it allows them to see what art and competition are about.

“I’m already standing here three to five years from now and seeing these young kids with amazing talent,” Taylor said.

She said next year, event coordinators plan to include schools from Curry and Roosevelt counties rather than just Portales. She said they hope to include 10 different schools with five students from each one.