Sidewalk chalk your inner artist


Willow Rasch

CREATIVE — Students showed off their artistic sides with chalk in the Academic Mall during homecoming week. Student organizations and residence halls gathered on Tuesday, Sept. 20 to get creative with the homecoming theme “Create NMU”.

Willow Rasch, Features Writer

As warm days are fleeting, this year’s Sidewalk Chalk competition landed on a beautiful sun-filled day.

On Tuesday, Sept. 20 from noon to 4 p.m., several academic and student housing groups gathered in the academic mall to draw on the sidewalks with chalk. Along with the chalk available for use, there was also a tie-dying station set up for students’ clothes staining needs, provided by the Special Events Committee.

“Sidewalk chalk is a tradition that we have done for Homecoming in the past,” said Ali Deutsch, Special Events Coordinator. “We thought, why not keep it going, especially with the theme being Create NMU.”

The sidewalk chalk event is has traditionally occurred yearly as an event during homecoming week at NMU, Deutsch said.

“Sidewalk chalk is an opportunity for students to be creative and to share all the artistic skills that their houses and clubs have to offer,” Deutsch said.

The Special Events Committee is looking for more attendees to participate in future free events. Students can check out their Instagram @nmu_specialevents for information on upcoming events.

Black Student Union, among other clubs, embraced the Homecoming theme of “Create NMU”. BSU drew a Crayola Colors of the World Skin Tone crayon pack as their Create NMU chalk creation.

“Bringing the idea of the neutral skin tone multicolor pack of crayons was neat because I feel like we wanted to do artists, but we could not necessarily figure out which side of the spectrum we wanted, but this is us because it took us a long time to get there,” said Marlanaysia Rosser, president of BSU. 

Of course, it was not just the student organizations – the residence halls were getting in on the fun as well.

“[Our theme] is consciousness expanding. We chose it because we are very conflicted on ideas,” said Cloe Campbell, a resident of Meyland Hall. “But one thing we knew was we liked a lot of colors. I remember that someone had brought up like 70s era kind of art, and so we were thinking more like cool colors, 70s colors, flowers, peace.”

One thing that the halls said they tried to do was bring nostalgic toys or ideas from their childhoods as a commonality between them all.

“We went with Legos as an outlet of creativity,” said Amber Heiser, a resident of Van Antwerp Hall. “It was just something we all agreed to kind of represent creativity. It is an experience a lot of us shared in our childhoods.”

“We are doing Subway Surfers and graffiti because it is Create NMU for Homecoming, and Subway Surfers was a part of everyone’s childhood,” said Rian Fayhee, a resident of Cedar Hall. “We thought it would be a fun idea to incorporate a street game because everyone can skateboard and create, you do not need to have an artistic background to be good at it.”

The winners of this year’s competition were Cedar Hall, in first place, Van Antwerp Hall, in second place and Meyland Hall, in third place. The social media winner was Spalding Apartments.

A piece of sidewalk chalk art not part of the homecoming competition.
A student gets creative during the sidewalk chalk competition by drawing a dragon. Dallas Wiertella