COURTESY IMAGE - 2016 Forest Grove Chalk Art Festival posterThe Sidewalk Chalk Art Festival in Forest Grove has been a tradition in town for over 25 years.

Since 1991, the event has grown to be one of the most anticipated and fun events in Washington County. Anyone can take part in the festivities, no matter what their artistic skills might be. Creative drawings take shape throughout the festival, but fantastic designs happen long before the day of the event.

Every year a Forest Grove High School student contributes to the poster advertising the event. This year, Alice Parker, a 2016 graduate, lent her artistic chops to the festival’s poster.

“I took some inspiration for the design of the poster from the advanced placement studio art class I took there, with [art teacher] Philip Thias,” she said. “In my final project I was working with that mannequin figurine quite a lot, so I wanted to use it in the poster as well — I think it’s pretty universally recognized as a drawing reference tool.”

Knowing the festival is all about the chalk, Parker also knew she wanted to incorporate large chalk pieces into the design. Experimenting with a few different poses, she decided to place little sculptures on top of the chalk to show some possibilities for what eventgoers could create with their tools.

Parker used the Blender and Adobe Illustrator applications on her computer to create the poster. Blender is an art creation software that lets users sculpt three-dimensional models in the computer and then color them. Illustrator is similar to Photoshop, which was what Parker used to place the text onto the poster.

With the project and high school complete, Parker plans to continue her work with the arts. In just a few weeks, she’ll be attending Southern Oregon University in Ashland. She plans to major in art, more specifically in Emerging Media and Digital Arts, one of the university’s newer majors being offered to students.

The 26th Annual Chalk Art Festival will be hitting Forest Grove sidewalks on Saturday, Sept. 17. The cost is $7 for Valley Art Members, $12 for non-members, and includes a tray of colorful chalk and a square of downtown Forest Grove sidewalk for the day. The pre-registration event will take place at Valley Art Gallery, 2022 Main Street, on Wednesday, Sept. 14 from 5 to 7 p.m.

There’s no charge to observe and marvel at the wonderful creations by the town’s residents.

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