Pastimes for a Lifetime is excited to host its third Student Sidewalk Chart Art Invitational or SSCAI! For those of you who missed our June and August SSCAI Blog posts, let us fill you in!

So, what is SSCAI all about?

Pastimes for a Lifetime SSCAI

My boss, Linda Wehrli brainstormed this program eliciting the creativity of select students to design social distancing points along the studio walkway where students and guests may wait in line to enter the classroom. Engaging chalk art replaces dreary marking tape!

Linda invites her art students to take turns designing and painting the studio walkway standing points. Once Linda approves the final artwork, a mutually convenient time is scheduled for the student to paint their designs. The school provides high-pigment sidewalk chalk.
Pastimes for a Lifetime uses high pigment sidewalk chalk pastels.

When the chalk paintings are complete, Linda presents the student with a Certificate of Merit for their portfolio or community service points along with a gift card from their favorite treat shop. A blog interview with the student artist, showcasing their work follows. The student’s artwork remains up for two months.

For November, Linda invited 16-year-old art student Sophia R. to design this month’s sidewalk chalk art. Sophia has been taking art classes at Pastimes since 2014! She graciously accepted our invitation to participate in the Fall 2020 SSCAI.

Sophia’s design is a row of three pumpkins, two facing north and the middle facing south. Perfect for Fall!

On the afternoons of October 26 and 27, 2020 Sophia painted her design on the standing points. We are pleased to take you on a tour of her SSCAI showcase.

Sophia R., in action!

Pastimes for a Lifetime art student Sophia R. receives a Certificate of Merit for the SSCAI

Sophia R. earns her Certificate of Merit and Starbucks Card

Here’s a little walking tour of the showcase.


And now an interview with the artist!

LRW: How would you describe the style of artwork you designed for Pastimes’ walkway?

SR: I don’t exactly know what style it is, but I would describe my artwork as simple, elegant and festive.

LRW: That describes it perfectly! What inspired your design concept and palette? Was this the first design, or did you have others you had considered? If so, what were they?

SR: I love decorating for holidays, so this pumpkin design fit perfectly for fall and Thanksgiving. This was the second design I came up with. My first idea was to do paw prints because I love cats and dogs, but I liked the pumpkins better because they are seasonal.

LRW: Me, too! Great idea, although the paw print idea is adorable. My students and I will enjoy the festive fall decor your lovely pumpkins provide. Please extend my thanks to your lovely mom for gifting the yard those three lovely pumpkins, too! Thank you so much. By the way, is this your first experience painting in high-pigment sidewalk chalk pastel? How did you like using it? What were some of the drawbacks you experienced painting with it, if any?

SR: This was my first experience with high-pigment sidewalk chalk pastel. I liked the smoothness of the chalk pastels and my favorite part was that I could use my fingers to blend the colors together. A drawback I experienced working with chalk is that the canvas is hard to work with because the sidewalk is bumpy.

LRW: Duly noted. The sidewalk is definitely bumpy near the gate. Sorry about that. Your feedback is appreciated. Have you ever attended Chalk Art and Street Painting festivals like the ones in Burbank and Pasadena? Would you consider participating in the next one when they safely reopen?

SR: I have not attended any chalk festivals, but I’ve seen photos of them and I would love to go to one. I would consider participating, I think it would be very fun.

LRW: I’ve been to several. They are a lot of fun. You definitely should consider participating! How did you like designing and painting the social distancing demarcations for the studio?

SR: I loved designing and painting the chalk social distancing demarcations because I got to create my own design and have fun with it. It’s nice when you can create something of your own because there are no limits to the designs, it can be anything you want it to be.

LRW: I’m so glad to hear. It warms my heart that you enjoyed the experience. Thank you again for your gracious time and help turning social distancing into an art form!

P.S. Readers and students are welcome to stop by during school hours to view the walkway, by appointment. Email to schedule a time.
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Pastimes For a Lifetime Art and Piano School is located in Valley Glen, California. 818-766-0614.
School is open Tuesday – Saturday year-round, except major holidays.
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