Chalk art collaboration at La Mesa Arts Academy

Posted: March 24th, 2017 | Features, News, Top Stories | No Comments

By Jeff Clemetson | Editor

A collaboration with Mt. Miguel High School turned the La Mesa Arts Academy (LMAA) open house on March 2 into an opportunity to promote and celebrate the visual arts with a project that created chalk art in the school’s courtyard.

La Mesa Arts Academy art teacher Alison Lindsay (left) and Mt. Miguel art teacher Paula Annicchiarico (Photo by Jeff Clemetson)

“I was pleased by this project because the visual arts don’t always get their applause,” LMAA teacher Alison Lindsay said. “They’re not up on stage, they don’t have the evening events where the parents are sitting in the audience.”

The art collaboration involved 15 Mt. Miguel students from the Street Painting Club working with around 60 LMAA students in creating the popular, yet temporary, street art works in the school courtyard.

La Mesa Arts Academy 7th graders Julianna Yacko (left) and Alexys Scheive (Photo by Jeff Clemetson)

“This was such a success and really fun for my kids too. They’re learning that when they give back they get something out of it and they’re learning how to teach and when you teach, you learn,” Mt. Miguel art teacher Paula Annicchiarico said.

Annicchiarico also saw the collaboration as a chance for promotion as well.

“I wanted to collaborate and help my kids learn how to teach but also I wanted to recruit students to my school,” she said. “Our school and our district is low enrollment right now so we need to do that, especially to save art because the budgets are being cut and art is one of the first things to go.”

Mt. Miguel’s Street Painting Club has a history of being active in the community, doing demonstrations of the unique art style at places like summer camps and hospitals, as well as competing at art festivals like the one held in Little Italy every year.

However, this was the first time the club has worked with another school.

Annicchiarico picked LMAA because, she said, “Ms. Lindsay is really excited about it and very passionate about art.”

Lindsay described the collaboration as a “random, serendipitous occasion” and hopes to do more in the future, maybe even make it a two-day event so the students can do more complex drawings.

“This was a guinea pig trial run and I think it’s been totally successful,” Lindsay said. “The kids are thrilled.”

—Reach Jeff Clemetson at

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