During the Outdoor Games earlier this summer, a chalk artist’s rendering of “Lyons Gothic” (a male and female figure wearing sunglasses, life jackets, helmets, and holding a
kayak paddle) appeared on Railroad Street, just across from the Post Office. Unfortunately, before too many locals had a chance to see it, the rains came, and as is the case with the ephemeral medium, it was washed away. A second chalk rendering (of a giant Etch-A-Sketch) to celebrate the “Sketch-A-Palooza,” a Guiness World Book of Records event organized by Clark Hodge and Jeff Gagliardi (they needed 250 sketchers to set the record, and they got over 300!) earlier this summer was created, this time on the old station platform next to the visitor center in Sandstone Park. But alas, it too got washed away (this time by a sprinkler) before too many people got a chance to view it.
Now, Justin Nittmann (a Longmont native and tattoo artist), with the backing and support of the Town of Lyons, and Ohio Arts (the Etch-A-Sketch manufacturers) is back in Lyons, recreating his “Sketch-A-Palooza” tribute chalk drawing on the platform. Nittmann has been doing his chalk art for about six or seven years. Out of sheer boredom one day, he suggested to his girlfriend that they enroll in an art class in Longmont. His talent led his instructor to suggest he participate in a chalk art festival in Denver, one thing led to another, and Lyons Parks & Rec. Supervisor Dave Cosgrove saw his work, and suggested he might want to do some drawings in Lyons during Town events.
His latest drawing will be a giant Etch-A-Sketch with a depiction of Steamboat Mountain (the landmark everyone had to draw for the record), with a lark bunting flying above, and columbine blossoms beneath. But this time, Nittmann is prepared. He waited to begin the project until after the watering season in the park, and he is stabilizing each day’s works with a sealant before he finishes for the day. Residents should stop by and check out the progress. Just another “Lyons beautification” project for your pleasure.