The residents of Albion College’s Whitehouse Hall have seen amazing drawings this year as they walk by to go to and from classes, meet up with friends or study in the Whitehouse lounge. The large chalkboard that is prominently displayed in the first floor lobby is decorated in breathtaking drawings, all done with only chalk. The talented Elijah Ostrowski, a Grand Rapids sophomore, is behind this beautiful art. Ostrowski is an art student and has always loved to draw. Getting inspiration from video games, he spends any where from two to six hours, all depending on the complexity of his vision.
“I love the kind of video games that have good graphics and storylines, a lot of my drawings are from Dragon Age. I really enjoy the characters.” Ostrowski said. “I’ve been working hard on drawing since 2009, and then I started some digital art in 2010 when I got a tablet.”
Chalk drawings aren’t the only thing he specializes in. Elijah likes to watercolor paint, draw on paper, and digital arts as well.
“On my first day I was like, oooh there’s a chalk board here. And then I drew a little something, and then it just kind of escalated from there.”
Elijah’s drawings have gotten so much attention on campus that a request list was made last semester for his creations. And sure enough, the requests came rolling in. From SpongeBob to other popular video game characters, Whitehouse students wanted Ostrowski to draw their favorites as well. Occasionally, Ostrowski will erase his own art so that there is room to draw more. He says that when the chalk board gets washed he is able to start something big. The chalk board doesn’t get washed often—it seems no one wants to erase his masterpieces.
Chalk drawing is much different than working with pencil and paper. “It’s different because with chalk you have to create light to create the depth of the image, when you’re drawing on paper you have to shade with darkness to create depth,” said Ostrowski.
The chalk art is beautiful and filled with different colors and characters. Students stop to admire it while they’re passing through every day. It’s not uncommon to hear, “Wow, that’s amazing,” or “I could never be able to do that.” Through the hustle of activity during the day, it’s refreshing to have epic artwork to admire, even if it’s only for a few moments.
Photos by Cara Henry