Grove Fest Professional Chalk Artist: Erika Lalita Thurkins
Since the mural’s completion, Thurkins has completed her degree, eloped with her high school sweetheart and given birth to her son Phineas. Her life as an artist took off quickly as well, as Thurkins and her family settled in New York. As an artist, and a new mom, she has embraced portraiture, including her Pet Portrait work, as well as studio instructor. Starting in 2015, Thurkins has been participating in Chalk Festivals. “Having found an affinity for soft (chalk) pastels in college and considering the medium a favorite, I gave it (chalk art) a shot, and was immediately hooked, “Thurkins muses. She travels to festivals around the country as a successful featured artist. “My first out-of-state festival was in Michigan and I scored three major awards which was mind-blowing. But my personal greatest achievement to-date was only just announced: that I scored a spot to chalk in the Tempe, Arizona Festival of the Arts - one of only 15 that many national competitors apply for,” Thurkins exclaims.
Thurkins will be chalking through the day on College Avenue, next to Nonni’s Corner Trattoria. In addition, Olde Town will be handing out chalk to kids who will surely be inspired by Thurkins talent. “I'll be happy to have the chance to take it all in over a weekend and get re-acquainted,” Thurkins states. You can visit her Sylph Art Studios Facebook page to get a preview of her art.
Erika Lalita Thurkins showed up in Olde Town over ten years ago as a young artist with two other college students, ready to tackle a community mural, a larger-than-life project for anyone! However, she was excited to be part of such a significant piece of community art, the first of its kind for Olde Town. The ten-week project made a lasting impression on both groups, and Olde Town has always enjoyed its colorful mural in the Joseph D. Monteleone Youth Festival Park celebrating history and life in Grove City. Thurkins embraced her time in Grove City and celebrated the challenges and life-changing experiences in the community that left her incredibly proud to be part of the mural project. “I have to confess that I'm guilty of swinging through town whenever my travel routes have taken me close, only to look and recount the memories and see how much has changed, “Thurkins states. “I’ve been very impressed with the public art that continues to be added, it looks really great!”
Now, Thurkins is coming back, this time to be part of Olde Town Grove City’s Grove Fest as an award-winning Chalk Artist.