FREEPORT – The works of a self-taught teenage artist will be exhibited for the first time next month at the Freeport Community Library.

Alice Chesley, a junior at Pine Tree Academy in Freeport, will bring 15 of her drawings, mostly in pencil, to the library on Jan. 5. Chesley’s exhibit, which also will include charcoals, will be on display in the library’s Main Reading Room.

Chesley, 16, said she likes drawing portraits.

“It doesn’t really matter who,” she said, “I just like people because faces show so many emotions.”

Belinda Stewart, events coordinator at the Freeport Community Library, said the library is pleased that Chesley is doing her first exhibit there.

“One of Alice’s teachers brought her to our attention,” Stewart said. “I think she’s a cut above the average high school student.”

Chesley, who lives with her parents, William and Betty Chesley, in Freeport, is a self-taught artist.

“I’ve loved art ever since I can remember,” she said.

She started in earnest “at 10 or 11 with crayons and coloring pencils. I was a big horse lover when I was little, so I drew a lot of horses.”

Chesley developed an interest in drawing scenery. Then people.

Mostly, she uses pencil. But sometimes Chesley will draw with pencil, pen and charcoal “all at once,” as she puts it, on the same drawing. She really likes pencil, though.

“I like how you can just take it and do abstracts,” she said. “You can make shadows and you can make things look really, really realistic with pencil.”

She spends an hour or so a week on her drawings – more in the summer, when school’s out. Usually, it’s just drawings of no one in particular, but recently, Chesley has drawn some portraits of actors.

“I’m doing a study on old actors and actresses,” she said. “I’ll have Audrey Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart and a couple others.

Chesley said she’s not sure if she’ll make art a career, but she doesn’t plan to stop drawing, either.

“I’m always going to draw,” she said. “It’s something I will always love.”

Chesley’s mother also sees art in her daughter’s future.

“I think she’s quite talented,” Betty Chesley said. “I’d love to see her go further. I think she’s got a real feel for catching mood and character.”

Alice Chesley holds one of her drawings that will be on display during January at the Freeport Community Library. 

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