Chalk Art Makes a Comeback in the Era of Coronavirus and #BLM

During the Coronavirus quarantine, we saw lots of strange new things, like the necessity for face masks and social distancing markers. But we saw lots of positivity, too. Whole neighborhoods’ worth of families out walking or playing together, and people finding new, unique ways to communicate. You may have encountered another new thing: quarantine-related chalk messages on sidewalks, roads, and driveways.

These colorful, upbeat drawings became the new signpost for staying apart to stay healthy. Our driveways and sidewalks became our canvas, chalk art our medium for raising neighborhood morale and creating a feeling of unity. Now, as 2020 rolls on, chalk art is also becoming an artistic outlet for protest in the Black Lives Matter movement.

How Our Sidewalks Became Our Canvases

little girl sidewalk chalk

From California to Texas to New Jersey, chalk art, a perennial fave of kids everywhere, is making a comeback. And while it’s long been the medium of choice for drawing outdoor games (we love a competitive bout of hopscotch or Four Square) kids with time on their hands have moved beyond drawing squares.

Now, they’re offering their inspirational messages, too. And a lot of parents are wielding the powdery sticks alongside them.

This isn’t just a way for families to fend off boredom. The collaborative nature of chalk art is also a way comfort and connect with each other. And some of our main public places, our sidewalks, have become our canvases.

Joining the Protest One Drawing at a Time

blm sidewalk chalk

As our coronavirus quarantine morphed into protests following the death of George Floyd in late May, chalk art morphed along with it. Sidewalks are some of our most public shared areas and, on them, chalk art is seen as a peaceful way protest and play a small part in the Black Lives Matter movement.

While chalk art itself is temporary, pieces of artwork and inspirational messages become evergreen when they are captured and shared on social media. Many sidewalk masterpieces make their way to Instagram and get more eyes on them than just neighborhood walkers.

Self-Expression Keeps Us Sane in Hard Times

Art lets us express ourselves and, during a year when our whole idea of “normal” changed. While we at Paintzen are usually talking about color and design trends inside the walls of our home, we know that the idea of home goes beyond the walls of our house or apartment. And chalk art is a beautiful way to share your messages, thoughts, and prayers with the world.

Whether they’re sweetly poignant or drawn in protest, these chalk drawings and messages remind us about stuff that’s bigger than us: friendship, community and solidarity. We may often seem far apart physically (thanks, social distancing) or politically. And in this case, the very medium we’re expressing our sentiments in may wash away in the next rain. But the message behind it all remains: We’re in this together.

If you’re thinking of painting your house this summer, we’re here to help. We’ve even helped customers bring their own chalk art into their homes with chalkboard paint. And rest assured we have special protocols – from contact-free quotes to special safety measures – to keep you safe during the coronavirus pandemic. Learn more about our services, get a free quote or order 8” x 8” paint samples today.


Kelley Rebori

Kelley Rebori has written for national brands like Paintzen, HGTV, the DIY Network and Trulia for more than a decade. She loves home renovation projects, chocolate icing and small poodles. She and her husband split the year between their homes in Tennessee and Italy.