NAHS proudly represents Bearden community at Dogwood’s Chalk Walk


Gabi Kay

Bearden contributed this colorful bulldog to the Dogwood Festival’s Chalk Walk on April 6.

Olivia Hailey, Staff Writer

Several Bearden students, most of them a part of Bearden’s National Art Honor Society, participated in Chalk Walk in Market Square on April 6.

Chalk Walk is a street painting festival in which professionals and students alike can participate in expressing their creativity on the sidewalks of downtown Knoxville.

“[There were] a lot of people on the sidelines taking pictures, which was cool and kind of nerve-wracking, given that we’re all trying to work on it,” junior NAHS member Gabi Kay said. “It was much larger than I thought.”

The event lasted from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., but Bearden’s group of about eight artists finished up their work around 3 p.m.

The Chalk Walk is a part of the annual Dogwood Arts festivities, a showcase of local art, culture, and scenery. This year, the festivities commenced in February and will continue until the end of June. The actual festival will take place in Market Square from April 26 to 29.

“We had to be really vibrant, so I guess that’s the gist of it,” Kay said. “Somebody brought up, ‘We want it really vibrant,’ so it kind of represents diversity. We had it be really colorful, so it’s like [for] pride and school spirit.”

Artists have the chance to earn awards, such as “Best in Show” and “People’s Choice.” Some of the other awards include first, second, or third in Single and Collaborative on the levels of Elementary School, Middle School, High School, College, Adult, and Family.

Bearden senior Victoria Hinkley signed up for an individual spot before she knew about the NAHS entry and won first place in High School single. Bearden won third overall in High School Collaborative with the piece that Kay designed.

“I was so baffled,” Hinkley said. “I was like ‘Okay, third place is this person, I have a little bit of chance of getting second.’ They said second place, I was like ‘Okay, I didn’t win anything, but that’s okay, I feel accomplished.’

“But when they said my name for first, my jaw dropped, my eyes went wide, my mom was next to me going, ‘Oh, my god! She won!’”

Hinkley has participated in the event with NAHS before, but this year, she went solo, creating a 6×6 drawing of koi fish all on her own.

“I think she did really well, especially since it was koi fish, and it was water, and that’s really hard to convey, especially with chalk,” Kay said. “I think she deserved it.”

Before this competition, Hinkley took part in the guitar-painting contest, which is also a part of Dogwood Arts. She took home an award in that contest, as well, earning third place.

“I hadn’t done this before, so it was my first time submitting a design,” Hinkley said. “When I first found out I got a design to paint a guitar, my art teacher, Mrs. [Victoria] May, was like ‘You got a guitar to paint!’ I was like, ‘Shut up!’’’

Art teacher and NAHS sponsor Ms. Melinda Sims was there to support both Hinkley and NAHS.

“[Hinkley is] pretty self-sufficient and awesome on her own,” Ms. Sims said. “I was so proud. I was floored, for one, and she also won third place in the Dogwood Arts Guitar Contest. I’m over the moon for her. I think it’s awesome.”

NAHS also hosted a gallery of student artwork at the Central Collective in North Knoxville on Friday. Ms. Sims is excited to see what her students do next.

“We’re wanting to promote the Bearden community,” Ms. Sims said. “That’s our number one goal, and a lot of people kind of forget that arts can be something that promotes the community in a positive way.

“Them kind of spearheading that has been really awesome to watch, and I’m just hopeful for the future of watching that grow even more. I’m just privileged and proud to be a part of it.”