Warren sidewalks decorated at event

WARREN — Andrea Mancia busied herself by allowing her creative and artistic sides to flow freely and make their colorful presence felt for all who walked by to see.

Probably without realizing it, her chalk drawings represented the heart of the meaning behind the longtime event — an opportunity for Andrea to express herself.

“I’m making a doughnut that can talk. I even did a teddy bear right here,” the 6-year-old Warren girl said excitedly. “I’m going to make my mom, and I’m going to make my dog, too.”

Andrea was among the many children and adults who took part in Saturday’s annual Chalk on the Walk gathering in Courthouse Square.

The Fine Arts Council of Trumbull County, which sponsors a variety of programs throughout the year to make the arts more accessible to residents and visitors, hosted the five-hour family-oriented event. The events include a farmers market each Tuesday from June through October, as well as movies and Noon in the Park summer gatherings, secretary Rachel Dunn said.

For Chalk on the Walk, the council partnered with Kari Crawford of Champion, an animal-rights activist. She started a business called The Revival of My Brain Art, which fuses her love of animals and art.

Nine years ago, Crawford was diagnosed with her first malignant brain tumor. She underwent surgery that affected her memory and speech. She suffered two additional brain tumors, the latest in April 2018 that required chemotherapy treatments. She found serenity in photography and painting — especially those depicting animals.

Collaborating with Andrea to colorfully decorate a 20-foot stretch of sidewalk with drawings of animals of their own were siblings Camila Mancia, 4, and Joshua Valenzuela, 10, who came with their mother, Diana Flores, and older sister Daniela Valenzuela, 14.

Not far from the three siblings, Evee Loomis, 8, of Bristolville, was using a variety of colors to diligently fill in the contours of a pig, two koala bears and a Siamese cat.

“My Siamese cat has four little paw prints,” said Evee, who significantly wore down a pink piece of chalk to color the pig’s large head.

Drawing is a favorite pastime for Evee, who came to the event with Kim Kinser, a neighbor who also was on hand to sell homemade dog treats.

In addition to those items, vendors under numerous tents sold pet supplies, scented oils, keychains, costume jewelry, colorful bandanas for dogs, T-shirts, wristbands and prints.

In addition to providing a fun-filled outlet, the Chalk on the Walk gathering united people in a friendly environment, said council President James Shuttic.

“We want more all-inclusive events for the community,” Shuttic added.