Huge chalk art project brings positivity to street on the Outer Banks – OBXToday.com

Melanie Bortz created a huge chalk mandala on West 1st Street in Kill Devil Hills. [Screenshot from Kill Devil Hills police video]

In a stressful week marked by election and pandemic uncertainty, an Outer Banks artists work is providing a beautiful, but perishable, distraction.

Melanie Bortz worked 11 hours over two days to create a large and intricate chalk mandala in a cul-de-sac on West 1st Street in Kill Devil Hills. Bortz doesnt have an official measurement yet, but she said its only her second sidewalk-chalk mandala the first she created for the OBX Marathon, and it was about half that size.

Bortz, with help from her three daughters, worked on the street art from around 6 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. Monday into Tuesday, then 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday. She picked the place because she figured it would get less vehicle traffic. And the timing was based on a pretty good weather forecast.

That it came on Election Day was a bonus.

I know people are really struggling with everything that has been happening this year so I wanted to change the energy focus from negativity to positivity, Bortz said. That was the main goal and I think it worked.

Bortz, who worked as a nurse for 10 years, left the field last year to dive fully into her artwork. She isnt necessarily a chalk artist, but she has created many mandalas, which in Sanskrit means circle. Mandalas are spiritual artworks in Buddhist, Hindu and other cultures, symbolizing paths to enlightenment and healing.

Bortz has also been teaching about the process of mandalas for about a year at Ascension Studio OBX.

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Huge chalk art project brings positivity to street on the Outer Banks - OBXToday.com

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