Why GSU Needs Chalk Guy

Will Peebles

The Pedestrium. The veins of the living, breathing thing that is Georgia Southern. Not just a way to class, but a staple for student life, and until last Thursday- an artistic medium.

Chalk Guy, as he is affectionately called, is a fairly well known GSU legend. His art was bright and vibrant against the calloused palette of browns and deep reds of the Pedestrium. His neon creatures would seemingly appear overnight, crawling from the cracks to greet students the next day.

He asked for nothing in return for his efforts. True artists only charge if they have to, for greed is the death of art.

Chalk Guy was a true artist.

His creations were intricate, and carefully measured. The colors he used and the detail he implemented in each individual piece were incredibly thought out, but the sentiment of it all was truly the most beautiful thing. Chalk Guy’s art did more than entertain a large group of people for a short amount of time. He took something dingy and walked-on and turned it into something that was valuable and artistic.

Unfortunately, like his art, Chalk Guy was not a permanent fixture.

Chalk Guy posted on his Tumblr page this Sunday, and announced that his time as GSU’s resident street artist was done.

Early Thursday morning around 2 a.m., Chalk Guy was busy bringing his most recent creations to life on the asphalt in front of Retrievers. He knew it was late, but he was working on what he called “a complex piece,” and wanted to finish. The following is an excerpt from Chalk Guy’s post about what happened:

“I heard something and looked up. I see a young black guy in a red sweatshirt running toward me rubbing his hands together. ”Damn it’s cold” he said, I chuckled a bit and said “Yeah….” as he ran past me, scooped up my tip hat, which had deep sentimental value to me, and kept on running. Before I could process what had happened he had rounded the corner towards Eagle Village and was gone.”

He goes on to explain that later on, as he was browsing Yik-Yak, he came across a post asking, “What happened to Chalk Guy?”

Someone had replied with: “Me and my homies robbed that hobo bitch.”

The audacity is appalling. The thought that someone would do that for what little money Chalk Guy collected leaves a bad taste in the mouth. All these things he has created for us (and would’ve continued creating) are washed away like chalk in the rain. For what? A few dollars and a hat?

The fact of the matter is, GSU needs Chalk Guy. No, he isn’t a necessity to the university as a whole, but he is a shining example of true artistry in a world of fast, immediate, corporate art. He was a gift to this place, and we wasted him.

Our hard days will no longer be greeted with the brief moments of respite that his creations brought. If you’re reading this, Chalk Guy, please know that you were appreciated. You are an irreplaceable part of Georgia Southern’s culture, and you will be missed. It’s a shame that someone drove you away for a few dollars. You were art.

But greed is the death of art.