The parking lot of the Missouri City Recreation & Tennis Center was transformed into a massive art studio of sorts last weekend as a few dozen street artists of all ages took park in the Missouri Chalk Fest.
In this second year, the event was expanded to a two-day affair, which was advantageous given the weekend weather. While Saturday was somewhat damp and blustery, Sunday proved to be a spectacularly sunny day perfect for the artists from all over Houston, along with some from other states and countries - to finish their creations.
The event is Missouri City's foray into the growing street art scene, which has been flourishing across the globe for the past two decades or so. Houston has held its own renowned Via Colori festival for about that long.
Several of the artists at Missouri City's were professionals who were invited to participate by the city, including Shawn Artis of Houston, who was painted a portrait of Daffy Duck of "Loony Tunes" fame. Like many of the artists, he got his start in chalk art at Via Colori.
Nearby, Samantha Hempel also of Houston, painted a portrait of Indiana Jones in the famous opening sequence of Raiders of the Lost Ark. She said she chose him as her subject to be in keeping with this year's event theme, "Let's Explore."
"He's my favorite explorer," she said.
Hung Pham, also of Houston, painted a portrait of his own dog, named Tek Ken, a play on the word "taken," stemming from a conversation he had with his sister when they were adopting him. An architect by profession, Pham said the chalk art scene, which he's been involved in for about 15 years, is a way he keeps his creative juices flowing.
Marcos Hernandez painted a scene of the character Son Goku from the Japanese anime series Dragon Ball, along with his young family friend Carlos Gallegos, 12. Hernandez said he got his start as an artist as a high school student at Via Colori.
Craig Carter, who is Black, painted a portrait of a young Black boy wearing an spacesuit and helmet, surrounded by the stars.
"I'm all about representation, and I want to show kids of color that they can become astronauts or whatever they want to do," Carter said.
Corella Fairchild, of Houston, painted a portrait of famed aviator Amelia Earhart wearing her signature leather flying helmet. Fairchild began chalk painting around 2015.
"I like the ephemerality of it," she said, referring to the fact that the chalk creations only last for a while on their pavement canvasses. "I also like the sense of community it brings, how the artists all come out together."
A first-grade teacher at the private Acton Academy Champions in the Cy-Fair area, Fairchild brought along two of her former students, including Amita Kungar, 12, who was painting a messenger pigeon.
"I just looked at the ground and it came to me," Amita said of the way she chose her subject.
Rachel Delarosa, of Padadena, began doing chalk art at Via Colori about seven years ago. She had been interested in art for some time, and was encouraged to participate in the Houston festival by her father.
She was painting comic strip characters Calvin and Hobbes, who she also deemed to be explorers, especially Calvin in his "Spaceman Spiff" alter ego.
Ever Galvez traveled to Missouri City from Los Angeles, where he has been involved in the street art scene for about 20 years. He was painting a 3-D image of one of the fearsome dinosaurs from the Jurassic Park film series. The 3-D technique, in which the image appears to exist in three dimensions as seen from a particular vantage point, has become very popular at the festivals in recent years.
"I think of dinosaurs as the earliest explorers on the planet," he said.
Victor Segouviano of Guanaguato, Mexico painted a portrait he called "The Dram of Adhara," in reference to Adhara Perez, a young mathematics prodigy and astrophysics student who spoke at a conference in his hometown. Fittingly, she also is depicted in a spacesuit.
Addison Tan, 13, of the Memorial area, won first place in the children's competition with her painting "The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse." based on the popular children's book and film.
In the "community chalk zone," several young people (and a smattering of older ones) got into the act with their own creations, including Dawson Leever, 6, who drew a colorful rendition of Spider-Man.
The event also featured several food trucks and several musicians who added to the entertainment.
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