Two years ago, Jamie Brown received an invitation to participate in the Arts on the Square chalking contest.
He showed up with some chalk and an idea and impressed many with his drawing of the Trix rabbit.
“It was something to play with,” Brown said. “I don’t have set pictures or images. I just wing it.”
That is no surprise to those who know him well.
While Brown has worked as a carpenter for the past 19 years, he also does airbrushing and enjoys drawing with graphite pencils.
“I’ve been doing art since I was 2, 3,” he said. “I was going to be an artist.”
However, that plan changed.
“After high school, I joined the National Guard and started a family,” Brown said as he smiled at his wife Kim. “Two years ago was the first time I chalked.”
The organizers of Arts on the Square took notice of his chalking talent and asked the Waupaca resident to help area retailers create a work of art.
His reaction to the request was, “Sure. I had no problem. I love doing this stuff. If I could do it full time, I would.”
On the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 8, retailers were invited to the corner of Main and Fulton streets.
The vacant building that once housed the Lighthouse and then Office Outfitters is the site of the Phantom Art Gallery, a venture that seeks to promote local artists while also calling attention to available space in Waupaca’s downtown.
Brown came up with an idea for the sidewalk outside of the building, sketched it and then guided business owners in filling in the parts.
The next day, rain washed away their work.
By the middle of the weekend, Brown redid it.
Next up was to begin an art piece behind City Hall and the Waupaca Area Public Library.
The Waupaca Community Arts Board commissioned Brown to do that one.
“It will be about the size of a pick-up truck. It will be a package of peanut M & M’s,” he said. “The package will be open, and the M & M’s will be rolling out.”
When asked why he decided to chalk a picture of that candy, Brown said, “I love M & M’s. I love chocolate.”
Throughout this week, area retailers have also been chalking on the sidewalks outside of their businesses.
At 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, Brown will lead a chalking workshop during the sixth annual Arts on the Square.
He will provide the framework and guide people in the creation of a chalk art piece on the sidewalk near the drum, dance and theater stage.
“It’s a way that everyone can enjoy it,” Brown said.