Artist Sheryl Lazenby has strong ties to the Statesville area. 

City sponsors 'chalk the Hall' event during Art Crawl

Posted at 5:23 PM on Apr 9, 2019

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Editor's Note: Due to weather forecast, this event has moved her venue from City Hall to across the street in the First Flight Bike Shop, 216 S. Center Street.

Special to SVLfreenews.com

The City of Statesville is going to “CHALK the Hall” on Friday, bringing chalk artist Sheryl Lazenby to City Hall to create a surprise large-scale chalk painting on the asphalt drive beside the historic building.

ArtCrawl-SPRING2019.jpgThis event is part of Downtown Statesville’s Spring Art Crawl on April 12.

Lazenby will begin painting about 10:30 a.m. and work throughout the day and during the Art Crawl event from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The public is invited to come by during the day to watch the painting unfold.

Everyone who has observed this process agrees with Lazenby that “the scale and process of creating chalk paintings is really something to see.”

“Typically, when an artist works, it’s the artist and the canvas or the artist and the paper. It is a solitary activity,” explained Lazenby. “With chalk art and working in public spaces, I am able to interact with people as they view my art. It's more of a performance piece. I love that!”

Lazenby lives in Columbus, Ohio, but has strong ties to Statesville and Iredell County.

“I cherish my time in Statesville. I have so many close and extended family members who live here, and have so many beautiful memories to relive when visiting,” said Lazenby.

Her great grandparents met and married in Cool Spring and her grandparents later relocated to Statesville. Her grandfather, Edgar Tuck Lazenby Jr., was the superintendent of transportation for the Iredell County School System. Her grandmother, Beulah W. Lazenby, worked for many years at J.C. Penney’s in downtown Statesville, and her father, Robert W. Lazenby, graduated from Statesville High School and was the drum major during his senior year in high school. Her aunt, Betty Murdock, designed and made the leopard skin overlays for the drummers in the Statesville Grenadier marching band in the 1960s.

She calls Statesville her second home and is so excited to bring her talent here to share with Statesville.

Describing her paintings as large-scale is no misnomer. According to Lazenby, typical chalk paintings for her are 10-foot by 10-foott in size with some 3-dimensional chalk paintings reaching over 20 foot by 10 foot. Working at this scale takes time, easily 8-10 hours.

The type of chalk she uses is chalk pastels, not oil pastels (oil pastels are more permanent). These can be purchased at art supply stores and hobbyist stores. The nature of the chalk is temporary as it washes off over time and some colors wash off sooner than others.

Large-scale chalk paintings started in Italy in the 1700s. Artists would recreate religious works of art hanging in the cathedrals in the plaza for everyone to enjoy. In the 1980s, American artist Frank Werner studied this art form and brought it back to the United States. He has inspired thousands of artists to work in chalk.

In addition to working as a chalk artist, Lazenby works with the Columbus Museum of Art and the Zanesville Art Museum to recreate artwork from their collections in the community as chalk paintings. She brings large-format chalk to events and festivals whenever she can. Many people have never seen or experienced large-scale chalk art.

Lazenby is a founding member of the Ohio Chalk Art Guild, a member of the Central Ohio Plein Air group, the Ohio Pastel Artists group, the Ohio Art League, and the Worthington Art League.

The work is not permanent.

“People ask me if I am sad that the art will wash away. I say, that’s what all the photos are for,” she explained.

Bring your cameras and chairs to City Hall, 227 S. Center St. this Friday, and help make her painting permanent.

LEARN MORE

To see some of Sheryl's work, please visit https://www.chalkstix.org/sheryl-lazenby.html

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