Lexie Casey at the 2013 Chalk Art Festival, photo provided by Lexie Casey

Lexie Casey started drawing in sixth grade: Her brother was a big time gamer, and she could never keep up with him on two-player mode, so she started illustrating the characters instead. 

Since then, she’s expanded her art to sharpies, pumpkin carving and sculpting and anything else she can think of. And two years ago, she found a way to show her artwork to thousands—even if it's only temporary.

“My family and I were down at the Gateway, and the Chalk Art Festival had just finished that day,” she says. “There were these beautiful chalk art pieces just as far as the eye could see, and I was just mesmerized. I told my dad, ‘I want to do this next year.’” And she did. Now a 16-year-old Sky View High School student, Casey will be an artist for the second time at the Utah Foster Care Chalk Art Festival on June 13 and 14.

“I remember getting there for my first day and just being completely overwhelmed with excitement,” she says. “Everything was incredible—people had already started to draw and had their squares taped out all the way down the street. It was just a dream come true.”

Like last year, she’ll be filling her square with art based on My Little Pony. Last year, she drew the character Rainbow Dash, and this year, she’s adding additional characters. “You have all of these little kids saying, ‘Wow, look at that. It’s so amazing,'” she recalls.

A preview of Casey's art for the 2014 festival, image provided by Lexie Casey

This year, Casey thinks she could win one of the competitions. “I’ve been working with a lot of other mediums and learning new ways to shade, more effective ways to achieve depth, and I’ve gotten better at blending,” she says. But she also adds that it’s a friendly competition regardless of an artist’s ability. “There’s people of every skill level there, and it’s never like, ‘Oh, my thing is better than yours.’ It’s more, ‘Whoa, we both put so much effort into these pieces, and they both mean a lot to us.’”

And what about the chalk fading away? “It’s a little comforting knowing we’re using pastel chalk, which actually stays in the pavement for a little while longer,” she says. “Still, it’s a little sad to see it go. So you take pictures and know that you had fun the whole time.”

An artist drawing at the 2013 Chalk Art Festival, photo by Sam Askins 

The Utah Foster Care Chalk Art Festival will be held June 13 and 14 at The Gateway. We’ll be sending our photographer Chelsea Folkerts, so pose in front of your favorite art for us. Click here for more info.

Utah Foster Care is a nonprofit that strives to find, train and nurture loving families for children in foster care.