Turtles, Spongebob, and a seadog come to life on Onset sidewalks

Aug 18, 2019

The sidewalks at the Onset Bandshell were transformed into more than 150 works of art on Saturday at the 6th Annual Chalk-Full-o-Fun Festival.

Anyone was welcome to sign up and claim a sidewalk square to use as a canvas for art made with colorful chalk. 

For the first time, people could also help create a mural on the Bandshell stage. The mural, which was designed by Wareham High School students, was divided into 45 squares. Anyone could pick a square to draw from the mural to create a giant piece of collaborative art.

Makenna Donahue, 7, created an underwater world on her square, which featured a fish, a turtle, and an underwater dog.

“I tried to make it a fish, but it kinda turned into a sea dog,” Madison explained.

She, her sister, Madison, and her cousins had staked out a row of squares in front of the bandshell. Madison, 10, was working on a tie-dye square that would feature a good message, Anthony, 5, was busy creating a rainbow, and Brendon, 4, was drawing a robot. 

Many grown-up artists also participated in the event, including Jocelyn Vache. Because sea turtles and ocean life were the theme of the event, she decided to create a design to bring awareness to issues of pollution. Her square was filled with a tessellation of sea turtles and plastic bags. 

Rhea Commelli and her grandchildren, Arianna Kell,11, and Elias Kell, 9, have participated in the festival every year since it started.

“It’s the one thing we do every summer down here,” said Comelli. One of Arianna’s drawings of a sea turtle from a previous year was the “mascot” for this year’s festival, and was printed on buttons and other printed material.

Four friends, Zack Ross, Dylan Walsh, Cooper Driscoll, and Bobby Walker, all 10, each created Spongebob art. Dylan and Cooper both drew Spongebob and Patrick as babies, while Zack created a menacing portrait of Plankton, and Bobby drew a now-famous still of Spongebob and Patrick screaming.

Helio Pacheco, a Fall River-based mural artist and illustrator, drew a wise-looking sea turtle that almost looked like it might burst out of the sidewalk. He said his young daughter helped him choose what to draw.

This year’s featured artist was Laura Potter, a Wareham resident, who created a piece of art that included many sailor motifs: an anchor, compass, rope, and, of course, a giant octopus threatening to overturn the boat.