AC’s annual sidewalk art contest encourages folks to Chalk It Up

Chalk It Up, the sidewalk art contest that traditionally unfolds at Amarillo College each final Saturday in July, once again draws near.

Registration is now open for the convivial competition that consistently elicits crazy-good creations and always awards cash prizes.

The award-winning event, collaboratively sponsored by AC and Panhandle PBS, is from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, July 29. It is free to enter, and the first 40 entries will be accepted. Please register here:

The artists – they can register as individuals or teams of up to four – will create their works on 8-foot squares at the Oeschger Family Mall on AC’s Washington Street Campus.

Prizes will be awarded for First, Second and Third places, and to the Fan Favorite. Each of the awardees will receive a share of the $900 prize pool.

The event, which in 2018 was singled out for a Golden Touch Award by the Amarillo Convention and Visitor Council Arts Committee, always draws a large crowd of onlookers who enjoy watching the artists in action at a particularly picturesque time of year.

“The community has thoroughly embraced Chalk It Up,” said Kevin Ball, AC’s vice president of communication and marketing, and CEO for Panhandle PBS. “Just watching the masterpieces take shape is a true celebration of the creative spirit that everyone can’t help but enjoy.

“This annual event gives families a wonderful opportunity not only to enjoy excellent outdoor art on our campus, but also a chance to revel in the beauty of the College, which is especially striking in July,” he said, adding, “Let’s all pray for a nice sunny day.”

This will be the fifth Chalk It Up since its inception in 2017 (the event was a pandemic casualty in 2020; and it was rained out in 2022) and, as always, artists will have from 8 a.m. to noon to complete their creations. A panel of judges representing the local arts community will assess the handiworks at noon and announce the winners shortly thereafter.

In addition to voting for their favorite works of art, observers at Chalk It Up are invited to create drawings with their kids in the ‘amateur’s area’ – chalk will be made available. Youngsters also can contribute to a color–by-number group art piece. The presence of a food truck or two usually lends to the festive atmosphere.

The Oeschger Family Mall is located between the Ware Student Commons and the College Union Building on the Washington Street Campus. The mall sits directly north of the pedestrian bridge that spans 24th Avenue.