The Chalk Of The Town: Remembrance Day Poem

What words would you add to this poem?

For Remembrance Day, we chalked this poem with a poppy:

Poem in chalk outside the Vancouver Art Gallery


A Poppy For…


Those who…

More pictures, and the full poem here.

It was wonderful to have passersby comment on our poem, and consider the message we were expressing. There are so many people to think of on a day like Remembrance Day, and we would love to hear about anyone who or anything that you think needs to be remembered 🙂

Chalk With S: Stopping In The Streets

Stop, look, listen

A poem in chalk is a wonderful thing to leave outside an art gallery; that’s what I learnt this weekend. Have you seen it? Our Remembrance Day poem outside the Vancouver Art Gallery? What made it more fun was observing it from a distance, watching people discover it.

Observing More

Observing More

I went back to the chalk site about an hour or two after we finished, just to see what was happening there. I stayed a good distance away for about fifteen minutes. In that time, I noticed a few people stopping to read the words. That made me feel great! Some didn’t see it at first, began walking over it, and then did an awkward, apologetic hop away from the text so as to not ruin it. There were others who did not see it at all, engrossed in their own thoughts, or focussed on wherever they were hastily heading to.

This made me curious about how people typically observe things in public spaces. A large chalk piece on the street gets a whole range of reactions from people, which I love.  I think I typically spend about thirty seconds to watch or listen to something happening in a public space. That time has increased since I started chalking outdoors, because I realise how encouraging it is to have people stop to observe and/or ask questions. Also, I am beginning to consider public art more genuinely, instead of only expressing polite, fleeting curiosity.

How much time on average do you stop to consider art or other activity occurring in public spaces? It would be interesting to spend just ten seconds more than that, to see what more you can get from and give to the art in progress.  This could make a difference to both you and the artists. Please try it, and let me know what you find!


The Chalk Of The Town: Remembrance Day Preview

This is a preview of what we will be chalking for Remembrance Day this coming weekend.

For whom do you wear your poppy?


Poppy for…

Poppy on Granville Island

We’ll be bringing you the full picture over the weekend!

Chalk Up A Celebration!

Chalk inside? Chalk outside?

Did you see us trick or treating at Granville Island last weekend? If not, check this out!

Through Chalk With Me, we have discovered how much we love chalking outside. More importantly, how much we love to chalk a specific message.

Our chalk work at Granville Island addressed the issue of choosing respectful costumes for Halloween. Since it was the weekend before Halloween, people around us were gearing up and getting their costumes sorted out. It was our most interactive chalking experience outside the Victoria Chalk Art Festival in September. Kids and adults stopped to consider the image, the words, the costumes and the candy. What was even better was the fact that they asked us about it. They wanted to know what we were up to, because it looked fun and festive. More people seemed to relate to this particular drawing, because it was relevant to what they were doing that week.

So much to celebrate!

So much to celebrate!

Before this, our chalk art was mostly about the act of sharing ideas and vocabulary related to equality and social justice. Because this specific drawing was well received, we now want to celebrate more such days and occasions that are important to people, while inviting them to consider and question certain aspects of those celebrations. Through these messages, we hope to spread positive ideas that could help improve day-to-day interactions and experiences for everyone.

Next weekend, we will be chalking for Remembrance Day!

Look Who’s Chalking: Chalk Words For Jack Layton

We found this video compilation of messages written in chalk for Jack Layton, former Canadian NDP Leader. He died of cancer in 2011.

He wanted a better world for everyone, and really cared about making a difference in people’s lives. With Remembrance Day coming up, we thought this was a suitable time to share this and remember all the positive things he did. Regardless of when in history someone makes a significant impact on people’s lives, we think it is important to consider them. Jack Layton fought for human rights and equality. His words and vision will live on through all of us.

In his final letter to Canadians, he wrote:

My friends, love is better than anger.
Hope is better than fear.
Optimism is better than despair.
So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.
And we’ll change the world.

What words inspire you to create positive change?