Children covered the floor of the Webster Dream Park pavilion with a quilt of colors Wednesday, July 17, using the help of chalk artist Lindsey Graskey. They created rainbows, flowers, a neon basketball, moons and even a pizza with black olives, pepperoni and extra cheese.
“Dibs on this piece,” said Grady Marynik, 8, pointing to the one with the largest number of olives.
Nearby, Ana Johnson, 7, and Chloe Dunbar, 10, teamed up to fill a space with words, colors and hearts.
Coleton Manion, 7, drew a bright blue moon while his sister, Mia Manion, 10, and Paityn McMinn-VanTil, 9, mixed blues, purples and grays to create their own mini-galaxies. McMinn-VanTil finished hers with a sprinkling of white stars.
The children used brushes and sponges to add water to their pieces, leading to a softer look, and punched up the drama with charcoal and bright pastels.
Known as “The Chalk Lady,” Graskey has been sharing her artistry and techniques with children in the Summer Playground Program since 2018. The city’s Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department provides materials, Graskey donates her time and children fuel the public art with their imagination.
“She has been great to work with the past few years and the kids always have a great time,” said Caitlin Knoll, director of Superior’s Summer Playground Program. “Most kids love drawing with chalk so they really get a kick out of seeing all the cool creations they can make with Lindsey’s help.”
Graskey takes time from her day job as general manager of the Spirit Room in Superior to make chalk art, both with kids and at area festivals. She plans to visit all six of the parks hosting the free program this summer; Webster Dream Park was the third on her list.
“It's fun,” Graskey said. “People really enjoy chalk, I think, at any age.”
The Summer Playground Program for children ages 5-11 runs from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays at the following parks: 18 Oaks, Billings Park, Central Park, Hammond Park, Wade Bowl and Webster Dream Park. Free lunch and snacks are provided daily through the Superior School District. The program offers supervised play and activities as well as field trips and special guests like Graskey.
There is no cost for the program, and parents can register their children at any time. Overall attendance appears to be up this year, Knoll said, and the new Central Park site has been very well-attended.
Children attending the program at Webster Dream Park will move to the Bryant Elementary School playground Aug. 5 to allow for construction of an all-abilities playground at the park.
Visit ci.superior.wi.us for more information about the Summer Playground Program or to download a registration form. Forms are also available at each of the parks.