Ruta Smith

Corbett Tripler, a photographer and mother of two little ones, is used to spending lots of time with her kids in their cozy James Island neighborhood. But not this much time. "Usually they're in school a few hours each day," says Tripler, "So I was thinking, 'What can I do to entertain them?'"

The answer? Street chalk art. And the colorful vignettes — a diving board, a surfboard, a boat — almost immediately entertained more than just Tripler's kids. After drawing something for her 7-year-old neighbor, Tripler says that adults in the neighborhood started to drop by the fun art, posing on the doodled surfboard and pretending to dive off the diving board.

"We started a trend of all the neighbors stopping by, one dog even got in it," says Tripler. And don't worry, folks, the neighbors stop by at separate times, mindfully social distancing while still having fun. And while Tripler says young children don't quite understand the concept of posing in the art, her husband is fully on board, art directing and helping people pose (his college cheer squad skills come into play here).

Tripler has seen some of her Facebook friends adopting the chalk art fun too, tagging her in their own neighborhood creations. She credits the close-knit nature of her neighborhood with the chalk art's warm reception. She's noticed that most people in the neighborhood are taking advantage of outdoor, well-spaced activities during the current pandemic-induced quarantine. "Last night there were 12 people in the neighborhood riding bikes," she says. "It was like a parade."

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