Cottonwood Art Festival in Richardson Sidewalk Chalk Art Contest at Cottonwood Park

Cottonwood Art Festival invited artists age 12 and up for the inaugural Chalk the Walk Art Contest. A limited number of squares were filled and registration closed in August. Individuals and teams of artists brought to life their own masterpieces on the sidewalks in Cottonwood Park on Saturday, October 7.  This live art demonstration began at 11:00 a.m. and artists were given six hours to complete their design. Artists drew pineapples, lions, cowboys, pumpkins, submarines, armadillos fairies and more!

The judges toured the colorful chalk creations between 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. and selected winners of each category. Voting was held online for The People’s Choice Award using QR codes displayed by their artwork and promoting on Facebook. 



Best of Show Adult – $500

Best of Show Team/Family – $400

Best of Show Youth – $250

Overall People’s Choice Award – $150

Schedule of Events

Saturday, Oct 7
10am – 11am: Sign in at registration booth. Artist notified of the location of their assigned spot.
11am – 5pm: Artist work on their submission.
5pm – 6pm: Judges assess artwork.

Sunday, Oct 8
11am – 5pm:
 Submissions available for viewing to cast People’s Choice Award, voting is online only open until midnight.

2023 Rules for Sidewalk Chalk Artists

  • Only registered artists may participate in the Chalk the Walk Art Contest. Payment is also due at the time of registration.
  • Artist spaces will be assigned at registration and will be approximately 8 ft x 8 ft.
  • Some spaces may have cracks or texture variations.
  • Artists will have 6 hours to create and complete their masterpiece (11:00am – 5:00 pm) on Saturday, October 7. All artist must be finished by 5:00 pm on Saturday for judging.
  • Adult, Youth & Family/Team Artists may use all or part of the assigned space.
  • If youth artists, adults can be near to cheer on but cannot help with drawing.
  • Team/Family – limited to 4 people per team/family and must be listed on registration form (can change day of event at check-in table).
  • The art created must be suitable for public and family viewing (no nude or lewd work).
  • Art created must be culturally sensitive and appropriate, respecting the diversity promoted in our festival, artists and community.
  • Cottonwood Art Festival reserves the right to refuse, stop or eliminate objectionable art or art not consistent with contest rules. The festival management’s opinion will be final. If artists have questions about their art, it is recommended they produce a paper copy of their art for prior approval.
  • The event will go on rain or shine! It is recommended that artists cover their drawings with clear plastic in the event of light rain. It will be the responsibility of the artists to cover their own drawings with the sheets and weigh it down. Only in case of severe weather, the festival may be cancelled – no refunds will be issued to participating artist.
  • Your chalk art must only include chalk. Any non-chalk props or items used in the artwork will exclude art from judging.
  • All chalk supplies must be presented to staff at time of check in to ensure it follows all contest rules.
  • You may also purchase or use your own chalk but it MUST be water-based.
  • Only CHALK can used for drawings. No paint, crayon, ink or other non-washable or permanent products will be allowed. Use of any non-chalk or non-washable products will disqualify the artwork and artist will be responsible for cost of clean-up.
  • Some chalk may be crushed and diluted in water to assist the artist.
  • No Spray Chalk or Marking Chalk may be used.
  • Hair Spray may be used on chalk art. No other fixatives may be used on the chalk drawings.
    • Please respect the other artists who are working near you. Do not walk on their art or have open beverage containers which could spill and destroy someone’s artwork.
    • Please try to keep your supplies to a minimum and well contained by your space.
    • By agreeing to participate, Artists allow Cottonwood Art Festival staff to photograph and video artist designs and artists for the use of promoting the contest.
    • No music allowed. You may wear portable headsets.
    • No asking for tip or donations for causes or for any other reason.
    • If reproducing an image originally created by another artist (living or deceased), it is important to credit the original artist and the title at the base of your painting or on a 3X 5 card.
    • Make color photocopy of the artwork or bring the photo. Make several copies if more than one artist (team or family) will be working on the piece.
    • If you want your proportions to be correct, you might consider drawing a grid over the photocopies using a ruler and thin marker. An example is half-inch squares on the picture to 6 inch squares on the sidewalk. Mount photocopies on cardboard to make them easier to work with. A carpenter’s chalk line is ideal for this.

    Suggested Supplies:

    • Wisk broom or brush for cleaning the drawing surface. Do not blow the dust particles
    • A 2’ x 2’ piece of heavy fabric, carpet square or cardboard to sit or stand on to avoid smearing your work.
    • A soft towel, gardener’s pad, or knee pads to kneel on.
    • A chalkboard eraser, foam, terry cloth or short-cut brushes for blending larger areas of color.
    • Water and a cloth or sponge to erase unwanted parts of your design.
    • Old towels or rags to clean up as necessary.
    • Masking tape for creating sharp borders and geometry.
    • Cotton gloves to protect your hands. Latex or Nitrile gloves to protect your fingertips and assist in blending colors.
    • Beverages/snacks
    • Sunscreen, sunglasses, or a hat for sun exposure.
    • No canopies allowed over your assigned area.

    Chalking Your Masterpiece

    • Start from the top of the painting area and begin painting the image with the colored chalk.
    • Lay a foundation of color using your fingers in small areas and a chalkboard eraser for larger areas.
    • Fill in the details of the image using various shades of colored chalk. Blend colors to gain the right effect. Leave some chalk color unblended on the surface of the concrete to bring out colors, highlights and details.
    • Work your way down the area of your painting.
    • Remove the masking tape to reveal clean, crisp outlines.
    • Do not blow or fan excess chalk into the air. It will dull your colors, and chalk dust is not good to breathe.
    • To get intense color, apply the chalk more than once (the first time fills in cracks and crevices) and bear down hard. The second time is to let the chalk powder rest on the top of the bumps. Then don’t touch it anymore!
    • Sign your work when finished along with assigned number of the art square space.