Uniting Through Art: The Annual Chalk Event
— By Destiny R. Buggs
Vibrant splashes of colors, inspiring imagery, and satisfying creations—the concept of art varies and the pieces created can symbolize many things with every person having a unique touch and perspective. Yet, the thing art never fails to do is bring a society together. On Saturday, September 24, 2022, Mohamed Khalil and Darren Boch held their annual art community event at the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park to inspire people to come together and express themselves through the form of art. Kalil is the founder of the organization, “Art from the Heart.” He is an artist who has been doing art for years and founded the organization in 1992. Boch implied that it was Khalil who wanted to push this plan forward a few years ago and his main objective was for them to invite people to come in, provide people the opportunity to come to the falls, and let them spend some time drawing. “This is an opportunity to invite people to come in and be inspired by the great falls and hopefully have that serve as their muse to come and do art here on our cement. The falls has been an inspiration for artists for centuries, right? So, we don’t want to stop that, we want to invite that.” stated Boch, a national park service member and event’s superintendent. During the day, members of Khalil’s organization offered visitors chalk, refreshments, and a green tee-shirt representing the event’s attendees, reminding them of the day and the occurrences at the event. This allowed the community to relax in the sensory atmosphere as they decorated the community, crafting with their souls and illustrating with their hearts. “We are all a part of this canvas.” Khalil began. “We [are] all friends. We are all people and it doesn’t matter where you come from. We all share one thing [in] common, and that’s art and creativity.” Khalil continued. Khalil expressed how art is something that should be shared with the world. He believes that art isn’t about skill and there is no right or wrong to do art. The only thing that matters is if it comes from the heart.