Daughter honors late mother who nudged her into chalk art after Lake Worth Beach festival visit
Updated: Mar 2
Terralynn Lake with the portrait she chalked of her mother's 1965 high school photo at the Lake Worth Beach Street Painting Festival. (Joe Capozzi)
JUST AROUND THE CORNER from Jimi Hendrix, one block from Kevin Costner in “Yellowstone” and right next to Miley Cyrus, 18-year-old Margaret Dawn Hoover smiles from a concrete canvas on Lake Avenue.
Unless you graduated from Harper Creek High School’s class of 1965 in Battle Creek, Mich., chances are you didn’t recognize “Maggi,” as friends and family knew her, among the hundreds of chalk images over the weekend in downtown Lake Worth Beach.
But more than any of the pop culture personalities brought to life on the pavement, the chalk rendering of Maggi’s high school portrait might have best captured the power and spirit of the Lake Worth Street Painting Festival.
The story begins nearly 20 years ago when Maggi and her husband were enjoying retirement and traveling across the United States. One day, for reasons unknown, they happened to stop in a town called Lake Worth, Fla., on the very weekend of the city’s annual street painting festival.
Moved by the artwork covering the streets, she picked up the phone and called her daughter, who’d enjoyed a talent for art since high school but never seriously pursued it.
Margaret Dawn Hoover's 1965 high school photo
“This was way back before you could snap a picture and text it. So, she called me and said, ‘People are doing masterpieces on the street and they’re good enough to be in museums,’’’ Terralynn Lake, Maggi’s daughter, recalled Sunday.
Masterpieces on the street? Lake assumed her mom was mistaken.
“I was like, ‘Oh, mom. You’re so cute. But people don’t do that,’’’ she said.
When Maggi finally returned to Michigan, she showed her daughter photographs from the street painting festival. “I’m like, ‘OK. I was wrong. People actually do that,’’’ Lake said.
Maggi’s photos of the street art sparked the creative embers in Lake’s spirit. And the mother encouraged her daughter to give art another try and to promise to visit that cool street painting festival in Lake Worth.
Tim Lakes relaxes as his wife, Terralynn, chalks a portrait of her late mother. (Joe Capozzi)
About two years later, Lake said she met a chalk artist who “mentored me and started inviting me to festivals.’’ Thanks to her mom, Lake had rediscovered her passion, started as a street painter in 2007 and began participating in chalk art festivals around the United States.
Because of family and work and scheduling, she never was able to attend the Lake Worth Beach Street Painting Festival.
She figured she'd get there one day and be able to show her mother photos of her own work at the festival.
Seven years ago, Maggi passed away. But Lake never gave up on pursuing her mother’s request, which she finally honored this past weekend.
“It's my mom. I want to honor her. It's because of her that I'm here,’’ said Lake, who recently moved to Winter Haven. “I’m fulfilling my promise as an ode to her.’’
Lake, whose creations have included parrots, the pop star Prince and actress Clara Bow, could have chalked anything this weekend. Using her mom as the subject of her first Lake Worth Beach event was a no-brainer, she said.
Terralynn Lake honored her mother by chalking her portrait at the Lake Worth Beach Street Painting Festival. (Joe Capozzi)
“Everybody has a mother. Everybody has an old senior picture somewhere so it's very relatable,’’ she said.
Although she has painted in hundreds of festivals over the years, this weekend’s event brought personal pressure to do her mother justice.
“She has been nervous about this for quite some time. She wants to get it right,’’ Tim Lake, Terralynn’s husband, said as he watched her work Saturday on Lake Avenue just east of Dave’s Last Resort.
“She happened to start with her mom's eyes and she said she feels like mom is staring at her the whole time and critiquing her as she is going along,’’ he said with a laugh.
If the reactions of passersby are any indication, Lake’s mother would consider the portrait a masterpiece.
“It has touched people. They’ll come by and say, ‘That must be somebody special or ‘Is that you? I can see the resemblance,’’’ she said.
“I feel like I’ve come full circle. I’ve done what I was supposed to do. Finally.’’
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About the author
Joe Capozzi is an award-winning reporter based in Lake Worth Beach. He spent more than 30 years in the newspaper business, mostly at The Palm Beach Post, where he wrote about the opioid scourge, invasive pythons, the birth of the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches and Palm Beach County government. For 15 years, he covered the Miami Marlins baseball team. Joe left The Post in December 2020. View all posts by Joe Capozzi.