A girl, a kind of Central American Cosette from “Les Miserables,” perhaps, stares at the viewer, her expression blank. In the corner, a woman in a blue shawl cradles a child as Mary does Jesus in old European paintings.
The photograph that inspired the drawing, which won first place at Chalktoberfest this year, was taken by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Muhammed Muheisen, the founder of Everyday Refugees Foundation.
Marietta’s Frye Law Group sponsored the drawing. Kim Frye, its managing partner, met with artist Willie Zin the night before the festival.
“I said, ‘Be as controversial as you want, I don’t mind,’” Frye said. “As a business owner I wasn’t going to interfere with his artistic expression.” Zin could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
A portrait of Daenerys Targaryen from “Game of Thrones” by Jack and Melody Tripp of Utah and another of a dog by Brianna Kuhna of California won second and third place, respectively.
“I think those three just had the people’s hearts, and they were so well done,” said Sally Macaulay, executive director of the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art. “I could have named a gazillion first-place winners because they were all so fabulous.”
Attendees voted for the winner by putting tickets in buckets beside artists’ drawings. Zin’s drawing had around 500 tickets, Macaulay said, but the race was tight; a number of artworks fell just outside the top 3.
Macaulay thinks Saturday’s enormous crowds made up for intermittent rain on Sunday, and said she doesn’t think overall attendance will be much lower than it was last year, when 100,000 people came to Marietta, generating $6.2 million in economic impact. The city has yet to release official numbers for this year’s festival.
“I’ve never seen it so crowded in my life,” she said of the festival on Saturday. “I can’t imagine what Sunday” — typically the festival’s busiest day — “would have been like if there hadn’t been the rain.”
In addition to the drawings, visitors enjoyed live music, an antique car show and a scavenger hunt for children.
Macaulay said it was “a truly international festival,” with artists from Mexico, Italy, Ukraine and Serbia competing.