Utah Foster Care’s 17th Annual Chalk Art Festival June 14-16 at The Gateway

Chalk Art Festival (The Gateway)
Chalk Art Festival (The Gateway)
Chalk Art Festival (The Gateway)

The streets of The Gateway will once again be transformed into a colorful art gallery, as Utah Foster Care (UFC) presents its 17th Annual Chalk Art Festival June 14-16, 2019. For almost two decades, Utah’s largest street painting festival has spotlighted the urgent need for foster families for children across the state.

“Utah Foster Care’s festival is a unique event,” says Mike Hamblin, UFC’s CEO. “You will be able to experience art being created right in front of you, while also learning about an important need in our community. There will be artwork for young and old, and it’s all free!” 

“We’re welcoming the Chalk Art Festival back to The Gateway for its 17th year! It’s been an incredible event and our longest running in The Gateway’s history,” says Jacklyn Briggs, marketing director. “Events like these that the community looks forward to year after year are incredibly important to us and we continue to foster its growth again this year.”

All 110 artists competing for prizes are local, and several have a personal connection to foster care – one team includes members of a foster family, and another young artist says her best friend was in foster care.

The festival kicks off Friday, June 14 at noon and continues Saturday, June 15, from 10 a.m.- 7 p.m. Foster Dads of the Year will be honored at noon on Saturday, and 3D artwork by Julie Kirk Purcell will be featured on 100 South both days. On Friday, the festival will also share The Gateway venue with Salt Lake magazine’s Tastemakers event. New this year, Rush Cycle will be hosting a charity spin class on the plaza on Saturday, June 15th at 8 and 9 a.m. A portion of the proceeds from the class will be donated to Utah Foster Care.

World-renowned artist Julie Kirk Purcell once again brings her brand of dynamic street art to the annual festival in downtown Salt Lake City. Purcell has made her mark in 3-D art in festivals across the world, even spearheading a team creating the Guinness World Record for largest 3-D Pavement Art. https://www.facebook.com/juliekirkpurcell/

Attendees will be able to vote by text for their favorite artist with competitions in both youth and adult categories.

Utah Foster Care is a non-profit organization serving Utah’s children by finding, educating and nurturing families to meet the needs of children in foster care. Here are some of the stories of foster families involved this year:

Erin Grimshaw

Twelve-year-old Erin Grimshaw has been coming to the Chalk Art Festival her whole life. She has participated many times as part of various teams over the years and after completing the 6th grade she will be ready to fly solo in the student category. She has won several awards for her chalk art including 1st place in the 2018 South Jordan Chalk Art Competition and 2nd place in the 2018 Cathlament, Washington Eagle Days competition both in the children’s divisions. She understands the importance of this festival as one of her best friends was in foster care when they met.


My name is Magnolia I have been creating and drawing for as long as I can remember. 
I started drawing when I was very young. I won a couple awards throughout elementary school, junior high and high school. My favorite medium is pencil and markers (what I make most of my work in) but I like to experiment with others just as much. This is my 1st time participating in this event. I wanted to do this to commemorate my sister and sister-in-law. They always wanted children, but were unable to. They are now fostering 5 siblings and as crazy as their everyday is she loves it. I admire both of them for their fierce fighting spirit and their ability to show the kids the love they deserve regardless of how tough it is and the storms they face.

Kathleen Bowen

My name is Kathleen Bowen and I’m 27 years old. I’ve been a chalk artist for 10 years and it is my favorite form of artist expression. There is just something about it that is so childlike and freeing about all the pieces that I choose, so colorful, so full of life, never the same.I can’t imagine my life without it. I am so grateful to be able to participate this year with the help of my work who sponsored my piece this year Titan Architectural Products. I’m also grateful to be benefiting something so close to my heart as well. My youngest brother was adopted through foster care and it has been a blessing to my family every day.

Jessica Grover

My name is Jessica Grover, I am 23 years old. I just graduated from UVU this spring with my Bachelors of Fine Art with a minor in art history. I grew up in Clinton, Utah and now reside in Provo, Utah. I love participating in this festival because when I was thirteen my parents became foster parents through Utah Foster Care! We fostered two sisters from Ogden for about two years and ended up adopting them! I can’t image my life without my sisters! We have gone on many adventures together as they fit right into our family. The youngest is now nine and loves to play sports! The other just turned 12 and is amazing at gymnastics. Thanks to foster care my family grew by two beautiful girls!

Doug Young Forever Young Chalk Art Team

The Young family found out about the Utah Foster Care Chalk Art Festival in 2008 when Doug was honored as Northern Region Foster Dad of the year. When we saw the artwork at the festival, we knew we wanted to get involved. So, in 2009 we jumped aboard and registered as artists. Team Forever Young consists of Doug (dad), and children Tyler, Chandler, and Maddy. Jennifer (mom), and the rest of the family (including foster kids) cheer them on. Awards we have received include Best Animation and People’s Choice. Our family looks forward to this event each year as a chance to spend time together, work as a team, and promote Utah Foster Care,
a cause which is dear to our hearts. Besides this festival, we’ve done murals at Lagoon’s 125th anniversary celebration, Chalk It Up North, and other festivals around the state. We are honored to have been invited to do a piece in memory of fallen hero, Brent Taylor, at Chalk It Up North this August. Tyler, Chandler and Maddy now live in St. George but still make the trip up North for the festival.

Nicole Kleinman

My name is Nicole Kleinman. I’m 21 years old and madly in love with chalk art. The Utah Foster Care Chalk Art Festival is what inspired me to be a chalk artist. By chance, we were at the Gateway nine years ago while this event was going on. I was amazed by all the artists and influenced to go buy chalk and try it out. Instantly, I fell in love with chalk art and have spent all my summers since drawing on sidewalks. I learned how to draw only from a picture reference and became a free-hand artist. My favorite thing to chalk is animated features, as I adore Disney. I recently graduated with my Associates Degree in Animation. My goal is to become an artist for Disney one day. I’m excited to share my passions with everyone at my 6th year participating in the festival. You can follow my chalk adventures at @thechalkprince

Stuart is the founder, writer and wrangler at several sites including Gastronomic SLC, Utah Now and, The Utah Review; Stuart is a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune and has worked extensively with other local publications from Utah Stories through to Salt Lake Magazine and Visit Salt Lake.