Need a little pick-me-up to stave off the COVID-19 blues? Just look down.

From Aug. 10 to 14 the sidewalks around the Center for the Arts will be chalked up with designs done by talented artists.

Jackson’s first-ever “Chalk It Up!” Chalk Art Festival is underway. Oona Doherty, the creative initiatives director at the Center for the Arts, came up with the idea, which is simple but powerful: Gather as many talented artists as possible over a week and have them turn a regular sidewalk into a lovely piece of art.

Doherty said the idea for the festival “started percolating during the pandemic as I was seeing many communities all over the world express themselves outside with chalk.” She noted that chalk is an affordable and accessible option.

With the coronavirus in full swing and economies struggling, funding for the arts is in trouble. Chalk art, Doherty said, is “a way to show the community that the arts are vital in an easy, affordable and fun way.”

The nine artists participating in the event are all from Jackson. They include Shannon Troxler, Bronwyn Minton, Emily Boespflug and Anika Youcha.

There also are some teen artists. Doherty wanted to reach all ages, so she called Jackson Hole High School art teacher Shannon Boreggo for recommendations.

Expect a variety of designs created by artists throughout the week, culminating in a final tapestry to be unveiled at 5 p.m. Friday on the Cache Street sidewalk.

“I asked artists to create a design that they think will spark a sense of curiosity and help us show that, even though campus is not active with events, the arts are vital and very much alive as they walk by the center campus,” Doherty said.

“The Chalk Art Festival is meant to spark joy during a turbulent and uncertain time in our world,” said Doherty. Ideally, it will become an annual event that will surround the center sidewalks every August. 

Contact Gabrielle Gasser via 732-7078 or

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