CLINTON -- Maria Hyer is studying to be a nurse, but one of her great passions in life is creating her own form of cartoon artistry. "My mother says I've been an artist ever since I could grab a crayon and write on the wall," the 21-year-old says.
Hyer was displaying her artistic skills Friday, using sidewalk chalk on concrete at the Clinton Heritage Days celebration.
This year, her sidewalk chalk creation is two cartoon characters encircled in a stained-glass image.
Hyer said it is fun to display her talents and see if she can get her ideas down on the sidewalk using chalk.
"From year to year, you learn more ways to make your creation better."
The popular event, now in its fourth year, was full as 50 artists were assigned a sidewalk square of cement and given a tray of chalk, all for $5.
Curious festival-goers wandered past the artists as they worked amid clouds of chalk dust.
Three-year-old Abraham was bent down on his knees and elbows, his nose close to touching the concrete, drawing a circle. He said likes to color and draw circles because it's fun and his favorite color is green. He was too busy to answer any more questions.
Artist Lisa Thurston, 27, said it's fun to come to a festival like this and share your talents. She sketched a large, colorful hummingbird on her concrete canvas.
She says she has a natural talent and loves using watercolors to paint nature scenes.
Asked if she has ever sold any of her work, she says, "Paid no, unpaid yes, but hopefully someday I will get my name out there, but right now, I'm just practicing, right here on this (concrete)."
For some of the artists, this isn't their first attempt at an art that for many years was used mainly for hopscotch squares.
Cousins McKenna Jensen, 13, of Roy, and Halle Schiefelbein, 11, of Clinton, shared a square of sidewalk and created a Winnie the Pooh drawing.
But last month, they entered a sidewalk chalk competition at the Gateway in Salt Lake City and won the $100 first-place prize in their age group with their drawing of SpongeBob Superheroes.
The girls say chalk art is "fun and cute" and they are going to come back to Heritage Days every year to display their art.
Heritage Days concludes today at the Clinton City Park and Civic Center, 1500 W. 2300 North.