@sunnysidechalkers

Locals venturing near beach parking lots in recent weeks may have noticed dozens of chalk art pieces adorning the walking paths in recent weeks.

Some pieces feature detailed, handcrafted illustrations while others are nothing more than a simple quote. But no matter what they depict, every piece seeks to inspire those who come into contact with the art, according to designer Kiki Uilani Pagador, who has spent the last few months organizing weekly meetups to provide residents with a creative outlet.

“It’s been a wild ride,” Pagador said Friday when she shared she never intended for her chalk art to become such a local sensation.

“When we first got locked down in March, one of my girlfriends got really, really sick so I was on a soup-making campaign,” Pagador said. “I was on my Instagram posting every day in case anyone needed anything and I had a box of chalk, so I would put stuff like little treats and food in a bag, hang it on her doorway and, then outside the house, I would draw simple messages and pictures.”

It started as a way to communicate, but the two friends soon found themselves chalking every other night in parking lots near Main Street, Pagador said. “It would always just be messages of love or images that were on our mind. Then that parking lot opened up, and I remember coming back from a chalking session — I was all dirty — and my neighbors asked what I was doing. I told them I just got back from chalking,” and they proceeded to share how they have started so many conversations about the chalk art with other locals.

The neighbors asked to join Pagador and every Wednesday night since she has organized a community chalk night to allow others the opportunity to spread some love. There’s always enough chalk to go around and there are no rules in regards to what people can create, which oftentimes confuses participants.

“I just go out there and let it flow. People ask what I’m making,” Pagador said, “and I usually have no idea. I go into it with one idea and it turns into a whole new concept by the end of the chalk session.”

Pagador typically posts updates on her @SunnysideChalkers Instagram account and she’s been out chalking for about 26 days straight at her last count.

“It’s relieving to the person who’s drawing and making art, but then there’s a whole ‘nother return on it,” because it’s also healing to those who are coming across the messages, Pagador said, detailing how one woman said she felt like her angels were speaking directly to her.

“I’m just grateful it’s helping other people and there’s a continuous cycle of love and gratitude happening around it. That’s the beauty of art,” Pagador said, mentioning she is currently working on holding a Community Chalk Day at Bergamot Station on Aug. 8.

brennon@smdp.com