Written by: Lawrence Chen
Senior Amanda Zunino enjoys working with different kinds of artistic mediums such as watercolor, pastel, and sidewalk art. In addition, she also dedicates much of her time to chalk art. Zunino recently won Gunn’s first chalk art contest, and for winning, Zunino was awarded a $35 gift card for the University Art Center in Palo Alto.
According to art teacher Deanna Messinger, Zunino earned first place through hard work and perservence. Her use of vibrant colors attracted the judges’ eyes. “What made Amanda’s chalk painting good was the amount of effort and time she put into it,” Messinger said. “Her ability to draw and paint from observation also made it look realistic. The image of diverse people laying next to one another, is a warm metaphor that people could identify with and relate to in the spirit of Not In Our Schools week.”
One of the project’s goals was to strengthen the Not in Our Schools message that “We’re All In This Together.” According to Zunino, the art helped bring the community together in a more visual manner. “My art piece was about how we have more power as a community than as individuals,” Zunino said.
In eighth grade, Zunino began chalk art after a teacher recommended that she experiment with chalk. “My art teacher in middle school suggested that I join a group of [chalk] artists, and there was an expo at the Art and Wine festival, so I got hooked after that,” Zunino said.
After she discovered chalk art, she gradually found her own style. “I usually do realistic chalk art, but sometimes I do cartoony,” Zunino said.
For the contest, Zunino first submitted an application with a colored design proportional to five by seven design. After her design was reviewed and approved, she was given a space on the ground according to her proposal. “Most of the people who worked as solo artists were encouraged to have four by six panels,” Zunino said. “But that was just a bit too small for me to be able to get any good detail in the piece, so I went ahead and made mine a little bigger.”
Zunino spent the two Standardized Testing And Reporting (STAR) days working on her art. “The hardest part about it, was that I have never done people’s faces in chalk,” Zunino said.
Despite these difficulties, Zunino will always enjoy chalk art because of the different environment. “I like chalk art because it is more of a performance art than a studio art,” Zunino said. “When I work, people are around me and get to watch me.”