- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—GREENSBURG — From rampaging dinosaurs to a fearsome dragon that wouldn’t look at all out of place in Westeros, the sidewalk surrounding the Decatur County Courthouse came alive with several unique pieces of art Saturday.

Accompanying the enormously popular Tenderloin Throwdown hosted by Main Street Greensburg, the Arts and Cultural Council of Decatur County’s (ACCDC) first annual Sidewalk Chalk Expo brought artists of nearly all ages downtown for some officially sanctioned sidewalk graffiti.

The winners in the contest received not only a little notoriety, but also cash prizes.

When the (chalk) dust had settled, Megan Morrow’s “Ice Dragon” took the top spot and put $100 in the Greensburg Community High School senior’s pocketbook.

Morrow said she enjoys creating art that draws inspiration from fantasy works, and her blue-hued ice dragon — which appears to be emerging from beneath the sidewalk — reflects that. Morrow said she is a self-taught artist who only recently began dabbling in the type of artwork lining the sidewalks of the courthouse square Saturday. Her talents extend beyond the world of dragons and monsters, however, as the student said she has a variety of interests when it comes to putting paint to canvas.

Only a few feet away, Morrow’s classmates Devon Chance and Colton Deavers spent their afternoon fashioning a Jurassic World-inspired Tyrannosaurus rex — one that happens to be snacking on a caricature the students’ art teacher, Dustin Smith. Chance and Deavers’ slightly macabre effort was all in good fun and netted second place, earning the pair a cool $50.

Chance said inspiration for the piece stems from this summer’s biggest box office hit, the fourth film in the long-running Jurassic Park franchise. Chance, who will be a junior when school begins next month, said he particularly enjoys sketching Marvel and DC Comics characters. His favorite comic book hero is Superman. Citing an example of his Kal-El fandom, Chance said he owns 16 t-shirts that honor the Man of Steel.

One of the youngest entrants also found inspiration in prehistoric creatures.

Marvin Mauer, 4, took third place in the contest with what he called “a chompasaurus.” Marvin took home $25 for his efforts and received an ovation from the crowd when he accepted his winnings.

While dinosaurs and dragons were the order of the day for students, artist Jeremiah Fraley created something a bit more abstract.

Fraley, who works as a professional clown, said he favors abstract forms of art and is in the process of creating a website for his creative endeavors. In the meantime, he can be emailed at [email protected] for more information about either venture. Fraley’s work Saturday was one of the most colorful, as shapes of various hues took up the majority of his sidewalk square.

Smith, the GCHS art teacher depicted as meeting the business end of the gaping, toothy maw of Chance and Deavers’ T-rex, was happy his students enjoyed their (literal) time in the sun Saturday.

Smith and some students took part in a similar exhibition last year, but this weekend marked the first occasion in which the ACCDC formally organized and sanctioned the sidewalk chalk expo.

The teacher said his students are all members of the school’s art club and opportunities such as Saturday’s expo give the students a chance to showcase their efforts to a broader audience.

“We try to do things like this in general,” Smith said. “They’re all pumped and loving it.”

Spectators appeared to be having just as much fun as they made their way around the courthouse, scoping out the sidewalk art while taking care not to accidentally step on it.

ACCDC director Bill Rethlake praised the artists and gave each of the creators behind the three winning pieces a moment to explain their respective creative processes.

The event was one of several that led to a festival-like atmosphere throughout the heart of the Tree City Saturday.

Contact: Brent Brown 812-663-3111 x7056; [email protected]

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(c)2015 the Greensburg Daily News (Greensburg, Ind.)

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Topics: t000002776,t000002791

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