Walking through downtown Lincolnton, the historic buildings, art sculptures in the street and colorful flower boxes contribute to the overall charm of the city. Just Around the Corner, a novelty antique and thrift shop, located at 120 E. Main Street in Downtown Lincolnton, is adorned with pieces of cloth hanging from the awning, lively plant beds and a seating area in front of large windows, showing the many trinkets and antiques inside the store.
But perhaps the most eye-catching aspect of Just Around the Corner’s decor is the over 5-foot-tall chalkboard filled with colorful designs that change every holiday, season or event.
The designs may be most well known for their realistic style, but chalk artist Stephanie Gonzalez had never drawn chalk art designs before her mother opened Just Around the Corner in 2016.
“My mom loved always loved chalkboards,” Gonzalez said. “She used to do it, then we used to do it together, until one day she said, ‘You’re a lot better than me at this,’ and I started doing it by myself.”
Gonzalez had always been an artistic child, at around age
10 she started drawing pictures for her neighbors, and the requests kept coming.
Gonzalez, who has only made one painting before, was even more confused when it came to showcase her skills with chalk.
“I thought, this is kids’ chalk. How am I supposed to make it realistic?” Gonzalez said.
Three years later, Gonzalez is more comfortable with using chalk to draw. She has since made chalk art drawings for Thanksgiving, the Apple Festival, Christmas, Spring, Summer, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and just about every other holiday and season.
“It’s fun to see what you can do,” Gonzalez said.
Her inspiration is Pinterest, a social media site that allows the sharing of pictures, recipes, ideas and trends. Gonzalez looks for designs and ideas that make her feel something and then adds her own spin to it.
Gonzalez is not professionally trained in art, but she hopes that one day this will change.
“I know I really need to get into art,” Gonzalez said.
She plans on creating a social media page to display her art, but for now her designs will continue to brighten up the city, from outside Just Around the Corner.