The Daily Gamecock

ArtLinc opens the walls of Lincoln Street tunnel to chalk artists of all ages

<p>An artist spreads love and hope through her artwork on the walls of the Lincoln Street tunnel.</p>
An artist spreads love and hope through her artwork on the walls of the Lincoln Street tunnel.

The Lincoln Street tunnel became the destination for artists to freely express themselves through chalk art on Nov. 12, as people of all ages and talents were encouraged to participate in the second annual ArtLinc event, hosted by Izms of Art and One Columbia.

One of the artists, John Hairston Jr., created an intricate piece of art on the pavement of the tunnel. He uses similar characters throughout all of his artwork to reflect a certain time in his life. While he may switch between different media, his style remains constant.

“I’ve always kind of prided myself in being able to sort of work a medium until it looks the way that I want for it to look," Hairston said.

Hairston appreciated the time and effort the city of Columbia puts into enhancing the art scene. Compared to other cities, he said, Columbia encourages street artists to share their artwork with the community.

“Y’all really take care of your creative arts, and it’s something that is really noble and admirable,” Hairston said.

Deana Rennick, a teacher at Sumter High School, used ArtLinc as an opportunity to spread love to the community of Columbia. She became emotional when explaining that the purpose of her chalk art was to show hope amidst the aftermath of the flood. Rennick designed a heart filled with water to represent all that South Carolina has experienced within the last year. She noted one positive impact of the flood is that it brought a sense of community among the artists.

“When we had the flood, people came together,” Rennick said.

Rennick added the hashtag “#floodtheworldwithart” to her piece to keep encouraging the community to support each other through hard times. She wants to give as much hope as she can to the people of Columbia.

Anna Lee, a new resident to Columbia from New Orleans, decided to attend ArtLinc for some fun during the weekend. ArtLinc gave her a glimpse of the influence of art in Columbia.

“I really love art, and it feels like a sense of community,” Lee said.

University of South Carolina alumna Sylvira Grady, was intrigued by the different cultures that were represented within the art and the different techniques that were used in creating the pieces.

“It’s pretty neat to see how creative people are,” Grady said.

Grady quoted one of her favorite pieces of art she saw while at the event: “'You are a child of the universe. No less than the trees and the stars. You deserve to be here.'”

The artists brought the tunnel by Lincoln Street to life. ArtLinc is different from many other events because it encouraged any person to display any type of art they wanted, which allowed even the newest of artists to get their work seen.


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