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Artists hope chalk challenge returns

October 07, 2009 - Liam Haverty wasn't the least bit surprised.

"I knew you would win," he told his dad after the Lake Orion family returned to the parking lot for photos once Chalk Art Challenge winners were announced at the Sept. 26-27 Dragon on the Lake events.

Will Haverty, a project manager for a government services company, said he got the idea for his design—a big dragon curled around a sand castle—after a trip to Bald Mountain with his wife and kids in July.

"I drew it right from the picture," he said, noting the rain Saturday slowed progress for all the artists, but spirits were high nonetheless.

"I sit at a desk all day," he said. "So this was a lot of fun—lots of great people around all weekend."

Elena Stewart, a 14-year-old Lake Orion High School student, won in the teen category, said living in Lake Orion inspired her to draw a dragon in her design, as well.

"I did some research on the internet and combined my imagination with a picture I found," she said, noting she plans to pursue an art-related career. "I never made anything so big, so I was surprised I got the proportions right."

Her dad wasn't surprised.

"I came down and looked after everyone was done and I thought 'She's got a good shot,'" said Bob Stewart. "I'm always amazed by what she can do."

Jonah Bukovisky, a student at Scripps Middle School, got the idea for the sunset in his design, which also included a dragon, from a sunrise he saw while he was riding the bus to school in the morning.

"I really loved what it looked like and I had to put it in my drawing," he said, adding he'd love to come back for more chalk art.

"I hope they do it again next year," he said. "It was really fun while it lasted."

Laura Pihajlic's drawing revolved around the historical story of two women who claimed they saw a dragon on Lake Orion.

"They were known to drink," she said, noting she read about the account in an old edition of The Lake Orion Review at the library. "But they swore they were sober that day."

Pihajlic said she's never worked in chalk before, but has seen the art elsewhere.

"It was on my list of 100 things to do before I die," said the Lake Orion resident, noting she was "pretty surprised" to win. "But it would probably look pretty weird if I went out and did it in my driveway."

An industrial designer by trade, Pihajlic said she lost her job in Michigan's sinking economy recently and says this was the first fun thing she's done since being laid off.

Will she be back next year for a second go-round?

"Heck yeah," she said.

Staff writer
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