Have you ever walked into a café and noticed how creatively designed its chalkboard menu appears? If you’ve been around the Main Line—including Savona in Gulph Mills—when that thought occurred to you, there’s a fair chance the woman behind the art was Tracy Gould.
A hostess at Davio’s in King of Prussia by day, Gould spends the rest of her time showcasing her chalk art talents. “I use chalk pens rather than regular chalk. The pens can be worked similarly to a paint brush,” explains the Tyler School of Art graduate.
Inspired by the sometimes-bland chalkboards she’d seen around the area, Gould decided to do something about it. Her skills first appeared at Bala Cynwyd’s Citron and Rose Tavern and Market; the owner hired her on the spot. Gigs rolled in from there, and Gould was soon hired by Savona’s event’s director, Lee Leung, to complement the restaurant’s update. “Lee just let me do my thing, no questions asked,” recalls Gould. The chalk art—done in monochromatic shades to go with the grays, blacks and whites of the restaurant—accentuates the venue’s bar area with lifelike reproductions that highlight the cocktail and wine offerings.
Gould soon found herself doing the chalk art at Davio’s and its sister spot across the street, the Galleria. The wall and sandwich boards at the light bites and gelato spot now impart tempting visuals to lure both eyes and palates.
“The explosion of chalk painting is becoming really trendy,” she says. “It certainly brings out the DIY-er in me.”