When a Hutchinson substitute teacher started drawing whimsical characters on the public sidewalk in front of her apartment this week, she thought people would smile − and they did − mostly.
Kara Vaughn of Hutchinson, who teaches art at Hutchinson Middle School, loves to draw with chalk − a substance that can be washed off with water or rain.
But to Vaughn’s surprise her landlord was upset by her drawings. She allegedly told her that she was being disrespectful and she needed to clean up the drawings immediately.
Vaughn had posted her drawings on TikTok (under Varakaughn) and had gotten positive remarks from people across the country − she didn’t want to clean them up, but she did. Then she called the city of Hutchinson and was told there is no ordinance about drawing appropriate pictures with chalk on public sidewalks.
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The News confirmed with the city that no such ordinance exists, so children can keep drawing those hop-scotch boards and tic tac toe games.
For Vaughn it’s relaxing. She said she loves being out with her dog and drawing − even though when it rains, her artwork disappears.
“I scraped it off, and then I posted it, and it just went everywhere (on TikTok),” she said. “I’ve been a pretty like go with the flow person. But I have so much support and engagement and love from the TikTok community, it gave me a lot of confidence to go ahead and stick up for myself.”
Since Vaughn started posting her Disney-like, Pokémon-like chalk drawings on TikTok and the controversy she is having with her landlord about it, her profile has increased and she has garnered more than 8 million views from across the country.
But Vaughn is scared of being kicked out of her apartment over this. The News reached out to the landlords but did not receive a reply.
“They haven’t said that they were going to try to evict me,” she said. “It feels like she wants me out. I’m afraid that something is going to happen. I don’t know. I just I really don’t do good with confrontation.”
Still, Vaughn is determined to beautify the city, hoping others will join the fun. She said she would like to have a special chalk day for all of Hutchinson. She is trying to get a day started. She is also hoping her landlords will grow to understand the beauty in the drawings.