By Jodi Hersey

Special to the Weekly

Kelley Dean of Levant has always been creative. Those who know her best have seen her talents on display inside the walls of her home. But it’s during the summer months when her true artistic abilities expand, spilling over into her driveway for all visitors and onlookers to see.

“It’s just something fun and different to do and chalk is pretty inexpensive,” Kelley said. “I have a hard time coming up with stuff myself. But if I see something I can duplicate it and make it bigger.”

For the last three summers, Kelley has collected quite an array of chalk sticks; all of which she uses to make memorable chalk drawings with her youngest daughter Ava. What’s so fascinating about her artwork is how she is able to position Ava in such a way that brings her storybook images to life. But Ava admits being her mother’s muse is sometimes a painful job.

“Sometimes it hurts because I’m lying on the ground and I have to pose a thousand times because she takes a lot of time [to get a picture],” explained Ava.

Snapping the perfect pose may take several attempts and a small ladder, but Kelley’s actual artwork only requires about an hour out of her day.  

“It doesn’t take that long,” she said. “Chalk is so easy [to work with]. If I mess up, I just grab a squirt bottle and wipe the tar. But I haven’t had to do that yet.”

Together the Dean girls have slayed dragons, hung the stars and even competed in the Olympics without leaving their home.

“Momma posts the pictures online and my teacher that I had in second grade is always really surprised,” said Ava. “She likes them a lot.”

“She anticipates the next one,” said Kelley.

To date, the pair have made and posed for approximately 10 pictures. Kelley says it’s a great way to make some unforgettable memories with her daughter.

“It’s something interesting to do and not everyone does something like that [these days],” said Kelley. “[Plus] it keeps kids entertained when there’s nothing to do in the summer,” added Ava.

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Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.