SNOWMASS VILLAGE - For the fourth year in a row, Snowmass Village is holding its sidewalk art competition, Chalk It Up!, on Aug. 25. Artists of all ages and abilities can put their creative juices to the test by designing a sidewalk chalk masterpiece in Snowmass.
Winners in the competition receive cash prizes, but last year's second-place winner, Kurtis Sparrow, says it's not really about that.
"It's just fun to do it," said Sparrow, a Carbondale resident.
Sparrow is still working on his concept for this year. In the past, he drew inspiration from local news, such as bear incidents and the Snowmastodon fossil dig two years ago.
The sidewalk artists who turn out every year often have other artistic inclinations. Sparrow plays in a band called the Friendly Dictators and designs all the merchandise for the band. Last year's first-place winner, Jodie Eklund, said she tries to do art whenever she can, although she's a busy mother with two kids.
Last year, Eklund drew a self-portrait of her drawing a mammoth.
"I just thought it would be something different," the Snowmass Village resident said.
Eklund has participated in the contest every year since the start.
"It's always fun to see what other people come up with," she said.
Contest entry is free and a palette of 12 pastel chalks will be provided to each artist. The competition will be judged by a panel of professional artists and art advocates from the Roaring Fork Valley. Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners. The open category winners will receive $500 for first place, $250 for second place, and $100 for third place. The high school category winner will receive $100, and the winners of the youth categories - 7 and under and 8 to 12 - will receive a $50 savings bond from Vectra Bank. The people's choice award winner, which everyone in attendance can vote to decide, will receive $100 and a trophy.
Open category and high school contestants chalk their drawings on the Snowmass Mall, while the younger artists will do theirs in Base Village.
To register for Chalk It Up!, visit www.snowmasstourism.com and click under events. Download the application, which can be faxed to 970-923-5466 or dropped off at the Snowmass Tourism Office in Town Hall. The deadline to apply is Aug. 22. The contest is limited to 50 artists. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.