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Chalk art festival coming this weekend in Lockport

LOCKPORT – For the second consecutive year, a sidewalk on Canal Street in Lockport will be transformed into an art gallery – which could be washed away by the next rain.

Businesswoman Ellen Martin said the Sweet Chalk Festival in front of her shop, Sweet Ride Rentals, 51 Canal St., will provide a combination of last year’s favorites and some newcomers, including an opportunity for kids to grab some chalk and start drawing – “little chalkers,” she calls them.

“We encourage all the kids to try their hands at it,” Martin said.

But the highlight of the weekend may be the work of one of the visiting professional artists, Eric Maruscak. His specialty is 3-D chalk art.

“This artist is hilarious,” Martin promised.

If all goes well, Martin said, viewers of Maruscak’s piece will have the sensation of peering through a hole in the roof of the Batcave as Batman scans a dating site on his computer. Perhaps he’ll be checking to see whether Catwoman has updated her profile.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

“We pay the professional artists. They actually get a $250 stipend for a completed piece, and then the ‘headliners’ get paid as well,” Martin said.

The “headliners” are last year’s winners, Joe Mahley and Ally Martin, both of whom are returning. Mahley was the fan favorite of the pro artists last year. The pros also will judge the children’s art.

Carolyn Schultz, who last year reproduced the Mona Lisa in chalk, will be back and likely will render another famous work. Her appearance is sponsored by Sweet Ride. Other artists also have sponsors, including Murphy Insurance, M&T Bank, S.M. Pynn & Sons and Lockport Main Street Inc.

There will be a number of student artists competing for a $100 prize put up by the Lockport Public Library, and spectators will vote for the “best in show” award among the works of the pros and headliners.

Students interested in entering should email Martin at

“There’s no theme. People should do what they would like to see,” Martin said.