10-Year-Old's Sidewalk Art Wins 'People's Choice' Award
May 13, 2010KNOXVILLE, TN — Episcopal School of Knoxville fifth grader Devin Badgett used artistic talent and affability to win the People's Choice award at the second annual Dogwood Festival Chalk Walk contest April 17-18, 2010.
Devin, age 10, garnered "a significant margin" of nearly 800 votes cast for the best sidewalk art in the Market Square contest. Kathy Slocum, event chair, said the 60 artists competing ranged in age from a 7-year-old to adult professional artists.
A panel of three judges chose most of the awards in 12 categories, but passers-by voting at a booth on Market Square selected the People's Choice award recipient.
Devin worked for nearly 16 hours on his chalk painting, a depiction of a character from the Assassins 2 video game. He also won first place in the elementary school category both this year and last.
"Devin is not only talented artistically, but he is talented verbally. He engages with his audience and talks to them while he works," Slocum said. "On Sunday, even when he was finished, he sat with his piece and talked to people about it."
"I'd just say hi and ask people how their day was going," Devin said. "They would ask how long I've been drawing and if it was my first time to compete."
Devin said he picked the dramatic video game character to paint this year "because it looked like a good picture – lots of detail, lots of color." He used the supplies provided by the event sponsors, which included pastels, sponge brushes to spread the chalk, and hairspray to set it.
He said he knew he was finished when "all my colors were vivid and there was no concrete left showing in my square."
He said the announcement of his awards at a 4 p.m. ceremony at the close of Chalk Walk brought him to tears. "I was really confident about getting first place in my category. But I thought, "I'm not gonna get People's Choice.' When (Mrs. Slocum) said, "Devin Badgett!' I started screaming. I couldn't believe it. I started crying. I was so happy."
The awards brought cash prizes of $300 for the People's Choice award and $75 for first in his category.
Known at The Episcopal School for his good nature and love of art, Devin said he keeps a sketchbook with him most of the time and enjoys drawing manga, Japanese-style comics and print cartoons.
Episcopal School of Knoxville fifth grader Devin Badgett used artistic talent and affability to win the People's Choice award at the second annual Dogwood Festival Chalk Walk contest April 17-18, 2010.