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USAO Annual Chalk art festival sends out call to Oklahoma artists

This drawing by Dalton Lather of Altus High School took home the Best of Show honors during the 2011 Montmartre Chalk Art Competition at USAO. The 2012 festival is being held, along with a statewide curriculum contest and the Drover stock all-day music festival on April 5 at USE. Photo provided

By Darla Shelden
Contributing Writer

Oklahoma artists are invited to participate in the annual Montmartre judged sidewalk Chalk Art Festival on the campus of the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma (USAO), in Chickasha on Thursday, April 5.
The festival features four categories in which artists may compete: Grades 6th and younger, junior high (grades 7the-9th), high school (grades 10th-senior) and college/adult.

Artists may also collaborate in groups as large as four on a given entry. The work must be completed using water-based, temporary chalk.

The cost to register is $10 per six-foot by six-foot square; participants register on the day of the event. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. on east side of Davis Hall on the USAO campus in Chickasha.
Jacquelyn Knapp, associate professor of art at USAO and festival director, noted that,
“Montmartre, named for the arts district in Paris that holds chalk art festivals, is always an exciting and inspiring day of creativity.

“I am always amazed when artists converge on the USAO campus so early in the morning, but I am even more amazed by the quality of art that is created in a short period of time. We have been holding this event for over 20 years and I continue to be impressed by the talent, skill, and creativity that Oklahoma artists bring to the event.”

The Montmartre festival serves a secondary role as a recruiting event for the USAO Art Department as well as for the university as a whole. The event is held in conjunction with the Curriculum Contest and the Droverstock Music Festival.

“Combined,” Knapp said, “the three events provide opportunities for students to connect with USAO, assist in understanding our mission, and most of all, compete with their peers from across the state in all academic areas, not just visual art.”

In 2011, artists from elementary schools, high schools and colleges across Oklahoma created more than 300 works of art in four hours on the six-foot square drawing canvasses on the road leading through the USAO oval. Participating students represented 55 Oklahoma schools and colleges.

“The Montmartre chalk festival at USAO in Chickasha has given thousands of young artists a chance to have their work seen and judged by a community of professionals,” said Rob Vollmer, USAO Media and Community Relations Office.

The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma is the state’s public liberal arts college. Its mission is to provide the public with a distinctive and accessible liberal arts and science education.

In combining an interdisciplinary core curriculum with superior instruction in major fields of study, USAO aims to provide a thorough education that prepares students for meaningful, purposeful lives.

For more information visit the Montmartre information page online at

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