HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) — Chalk art causing controversy for a Hutchinson artist who said her landlord did not like her recent work at her apartment, telling her to remove it.
Kara Vaughn teaches art to middle schoolers in Hutchinson. Near the end of this school year, she looked for new ideas for her students. She decided to teach them chalk art and wanted to take her skills to the sidewalks at her home.
“I started drawing when I was very little as soon as I could hold a pencil,” said Vaughn.
Last week, she started drawing different cartoon characters on the driveway of where she rents. She said her landlord stopped by and was curious.
“Caught his eye, and I invited him to come back the next day and see it finished, and he was like, ‘OK, I will be here tomorrow,'” said Vaughn.
The next day he and his wife, who also helps operate the property, stopped by. Vaughn said the conversation was different than the day before.
“It became something that was belittling me and telling me that I was being disrespectful, that it is not OK and I can’t be doing this, and she understands that I’m an artist, but she just didn’t feel comfortable. I told her, and I explained, ‘OK, that is fine. I will get rid of it,'” said Vaughn.
She washed her art away but took her story to TikTok.
Vaughn gained over 10 million views and thousands of followers, many are encouraging her to stay creative.
“You know, wanting to look into it a little bit further and look into getting my lease and look into what the laws are and what those expectations are because, you know, I didn’t want to actually just stop,” said Vaughn.
Support also coming from the inspiration for her summer project, her students.
“It’s been crazy like that is my teacher I knew her in real life,” said Vaughn’s former student, Alayna Everhart.
Vaughn said she hasn’t drawn at her apartment’s driveway again.
Hutchinson Interim City Manager Mary Grace Clements said there is no code to enforce the restriction of chalk on public sidewalks but for private property.
“It would certainly be between the landlord and tenant as far as that goes,” said Clements.
KSN News reached out to Vaughn’s landlord but did not hear back.
Vaughn said she is planning to hold a city-wide chalking event.
“It’s a really great way to express yourself,” said Vaughn.
She wants to see the city brighten up its sidewalks.
Vaughn plans to hold the event in the next month. You can donate chalk or funds to the event here.
As for her apartment, she said her lease ends in a few months and is looking for a new place to live. She started a GoFundMe to help with moving expenses after many asked to help her online.
To watch Vaughn’s viral video, which has received over 11.7 million views, click here.