LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Chalk is commonly thought of as a children's activity, notably used to create hopscotch courses or stick figures, but one Louisville man is using the art to bring the community together.
Since March of 2020, Bill Hall has been transforming his Plainview driveway into pieces of art, full of color.
"We're lucky because there are a lot of kids drawing with chalk, but we have an asphalt black driveway, and you try to put it on regular concrete it doesn't show up very well," said Hall.
Whether heading to the nearby pool or tennis courts, or taking a walk around the neighborhood, community members say stopping by the Hall's to see the latest sketch has become a part of their everyday routine.
"I clap and I give him a thumbs up, sometimes he's out here, sometimes he's not," said one neighbor jogging by.
"We were having all kinds of issues pertaining to negativity, people being sad, people getting sick, people passing away," said Hall. "All I was trying to do, especially for the kids, is to do something that would be positive. Something they would identify with. At the same time, the parents would see that it's positive, and the kids would talk about it, and so it makes the whole family situation better."
Over the course of the past 17 months, Hall has created dozens of pieces of art.
"Nature doesn't have to be perfect so if I'm off a little bit, mother nature says that's okay," said Hall.
Hall says many of the drawings, like a unicorn requested from a seven and ten year old who live nearby and portraits of his neighbor's dogs, Hamlet and Brody, are requests from people in his neighborhood's Facebook group.
"Sometimes it takes a little bit longer to draw these, and I'm not complaining, but we have conversations and it may take me 20 minutes but I end up taking an hour because people come by," said Hall.
Others pieces, like his favorite flower and a sketch of six Marines raising an American flag during the battle of Iwo Jima, are drawn from his own life and experience as a veteran.
Hall says he makes sure to give recognition to his own family through his art, whether it's wishing his wife Donna a happy birthday or creating a cartoon version of his granddaughter heading back to school.
"Whether you're building a house, painting a picture, drawing, there's a creative element there that gives people satisfaction. I like that," said Hall.
In August 2020, Hall named a sketch of a cartoon girl 'Auggie' for the month of August, and wrote "What's your name" beneath the picture to encourage other people to add to his artwork.
Over 35 people from around the neighborhood added to the piece using several multi-colored pieces of chalk Hall had left out for passerby's.
Hall says his love of art began when he was young and won a local art contest with his watercolor painting in fifth grade. Over the years he says he's painted and drawn various pieces of art for fun, some now hanging around his house.
Now that he's semi-retired from a career in business as the director of mergers and acquisitions, Hall is using his free time to put smiles on the faces of those walking by.
Although much of the artwork has been washed by the rain, Donna has helped prevent the works from fading from memory by permanently putting them on display in a photo album.
Whether it's patriotic, athletic, Disney-themed or even a little spooky, there's always something new waiting for the people of Plainview at the Hall's.
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