Often, a few kind words is enough to brighten someone’s day, and give them a positive outlook on life. We have many different artists of all ages who like to help decorate the blackboard, and each time, neighbours and passersby will be warmly inspired.

Some will walk their dog past the artwork and stop for a moment to admire, and parents will point and say to their children, “look! its a bear!”, or “there’s your favourite book character!”.

When an elderly couple passed by while a group of children were drawing, they exclaimed in wonder at the beautiful artwork, and thanked the children for brightening their day.

An old lady stopped to chat with the older girls who like drawing intricate mandalas, and shared some quotes of her own that she kept in her heart to motivate her when she is down.

A new family who just moved in saw the “welcome new families!” sign, and immediately came to meet everyone and play with the other kids.

Another lady likes to sit at the little shaded bench to rest and enjoy the peaceful and happy atmosphere of the street.

Most of these people realise the welcoming culture of the street, and immediately feel safe and happy. That is the amazing impact that a simple space for art can have on small communities.

Chalk Drawing during Covid Lockdowns

Chalk drawings on the blackboard are the most eyecatching, as you can see all the bright colours and words from afar, but they are not the only place where you can do artwork on the street! Driveways, roads, and footpaths are all surfaces that can look beautiful when chalk-afied.

During Covid Lockdowns, we saw cute chalk drawings, sticker notes, and signs drawn in semi public spaces all over Canberra. As well as toilet paper, the other product that went out of stock in our area was colourful chalk! So many families with children wanted to create a safe activity that allowed them to be outdoors for a little after being cooped up inside. Many children are very emotionally intelligent, and understood how their cute little messages could be uplifting during hard times.

Artwork and chalk drawings on the street is an incredibly simple, temporary placemaking strategy that can have grand effects on building community spirit.

Chalk Drawings found in the neighbourhood during Canberra Lockdowns