Chalk artist draws through the community unrest to bring smiles to others

Railey Warren, also known as Rew, creates chalk heart to bring people to smile when they need it. (Source: WRDW)
Railey Warren, also known as Rew, creates chalk heart to bring people to smile when they need it. (Source: WRDW)(WRDW)
Published: Jun. 5, 2020 at 11:37 PM EDT
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Friday, June 5, 2020

News 12 at 6 o'clock/NBC at 7

EVANS, GA. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Railey Warren can't actually do this when it's raining, but lately, she's been drawing through some pretty intense storms.

In all this darkness, Warren or Rew, her artist name, has been lighting up local sidewalks with her bright chalk hoping to reach those in need of a smile.

"I reached out to them and asked, hey, can I talk to your space? And they were very kind and said yes. Like all the hospitals and such," she said.

Nursing homes too, and at Evans Towne Center Park -- really anywhere the 16-year-old can spread joy.

"I hope to make people laugh and smile. That is my main goal," Rew said.

Lately, it's taken her out of her comfort zone. You wouldn't know it from speaking with News 12, but Rew says she's actually very shy.

"So this has actually gotten me to push myself," she said.

Perhaps becoming as bold as the chalk she likes to use. She still pours her heart into each piece, even knowing it's temporary. A little rain and the whole work is gone, but she actually prefers it that way.

"And then when it washes away, I just get another canvas," Rew said. "I'm not necessarily attached to it, because I know I can always get better I'm always looking to improve."

Gone from the pavement perhaps, but not from her memory. Rew uses her lessons learned in the next piece, and then the next.

You could say the same for what's happening now: a global pandemic -- an economic crisis -- a call for social change and equal rights.

After this storm, we all have a chance to make things better, too. It doesn't erase what's happened, but it allows us to use what we've learned to create a healthier world --

Physically. Financially. And socially. That might mean stepping out of our comfort zone like Rew. But the result could be beautiful, just like her art.

Rew's canvas might not be her only lesson.

"With chalk, I knew I could I couldn't obsess over everything, I couldn't erase certain things," she said. "So if I messed up on something, I would just have to roll with it, and that made me better at adapting. It let me relax and have fun, as opposed to being so sacred about making it perfect."

The result: a work of art that's always a work in progress.

If you would like to see Rew's other works, visit her

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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