Jennette Brown Chalks it up for Utah Foster Care

By August 3, 2011July 18th, 2017General, Portraits

Midvale Journal
Amy K. Stewart

Jennette Brown of Midvale can create almost anything — from chalk art dragons to graphic art werewolves.

“I have a huge imagination,” Brown said.

And recently her art helped earn donations for foster children in Utah.

Brown, 24, participated in Utah Foster Care’s Chalk Art Festival contest at the Gateway in Salt Lake City in June. Brown was adopted as a baby and has a special place in her heart for adopted or foster children.

Brown’s dusty creation didn’t win a prize in the festival’s contest but she had two days of fun with her childhood friend and fellow artist Whitney Lunt, 25 of Holladay.

The two artists shared the job of filling a six-by-six foot square of concrete with colorful shades of chalk. They drew a girl writing a story about a castle, a sunset and a dragon sitting on a rock.

“We didn’t win anything but it was fun and we’ll definitely do it again next year,” Brown said.

The artists worked on their piece for 10 hours on June 17 and three hours on June 18.

Brown and Holladay did their chalk art on a paper grid system which Brown had mapped out on the computer. They worked from the middle out “because we didn’t want to be stuck trying to crawl over our art to get to the middle,” Brown said.

Many children walked by and stopped to watch the two women working on their chalk creation. They especially liked the dragon. “Kids would say, `A dragon, a dragon.’ laughed Brown.

A total 120 artists worked on 75 sidewalk murals.

The contest theme was “Foster Parents are Magical.” This is the ninth year of the event. There was a $45 fee to enter the chalk art contest.

There are approximately 2,800 children in foster care in Utah and 1,400 licensed foster/adoptive families in the state.

“We are always in need of more foster families,” said Deborah Lindner, communications manager for Utah Foster Care.

UFC officials said the annual festival is meant to gather donations but also to reach out to the community and let people know there is a great need for foster parents. An estimated 20,000 people were at the Gateway over the two-day event.

Many people walked by and admired the sidewalk art. Some told the artists “God bless you,” Brown said.

This year’s Festival garnered UFC $10,000 in donations. Some of the funds will go for publicity, including printing and billboards. There is also programming such as the foster family camp which offers training for foster parents.

Utah Foster Care is a nonprofit organization serving Utah’s children by finding, educating and nurturing families to meet the needs of children in foster care.

UFC is a private, nonprofit organization contracted by the Division of Child and Family Services to find, educate, and support foster and adoptive families to care for the children in Utah’s foster care system.

For information contact Utah Foster Care at utahfostercare.org or call 1 (877) 505-5437.

Brown earned an associate’s degree in music from Brigham Young University-Idaho in 2010 but loves to create art.

She has a web camera where people can watch her draw and ask her questions. People can post comments about her art.

“I just think up worlds and creatures and fun things that are out of the norm,” she said. “I can draw something real but I would rather draw something fantasy and magical. Real life is boring.”

Brown’s werewolf drawings have really taken off thanks to the popular “Twilight” series of books that spotlight vampires and werewolves.

Brown can draw a werewolf transformation sequence where a person goes from human to wolf in five steps. “I’m not a werewolf artist but this is what I get commissioned to do,” Brown laughed.

Marketing officials with MTV’s show “Teen Wolf” just asked Brown to enter their werewolf drawing contest. She is also working on a graphic novel called “Wolf Legend.”

Her artist web page is jennettebrown.com.