Public art transforms Kettering neighborhood into giant game board

The sidewalks of a Kettering neighborhood have been transformed into a game board for the entire community to play.

“Bee Ambitious” is a public artwork scattered throughout the Haverstick neighborhood. The hub of the game, a 29-foot-long beehive made from mosaic pieces on Mendota Court, was created with nine games within it.

Visitors of all ages can play hopscotch, Tic-Tac-Toe, checkers and more on the permanent piece built into the sidewalks.

Ten more mosaic bumble bees are spread throughout the neighborhood, each with letters of the alphabet inside their wings – clues to decipher a word scramble.

“Our goal was to offer a game that everyone can play,” said Jes McMillan, founder of The Mosaic Institute of Greater Dayton. “With nine games, we’re hoping there is something for everyone.”

McMillan, along with community members and hundreds of students from Kettering Middle School and Beavertown Elementary School, created the bumble bees for the neighborhood that had no public play space.


The Haverstick neighborhood is located between Forrer Boulevard, Wilmington Pike, Mendota Court and Smithville Road. The project is part of ArtLocal, an artist-led, public art program based in Kettering’s neighborhoods.

The colorful bees designed by the students have “wild personalities,” McMillan said. One has fangs like a vampire, another is a doctor with a wavy mouth and an angry looking bee with yellow and black stripes has a red eye.

“We really wanted the kids’ imaginations to explode,” McMillan said. “There were no imaginative limitations on these bumble bees.”

A plaque next to the artwork directs visitors to a Kettering website with instructions for the games,

McMillan said the students have a personal and emotional connection to the artwork and at a recent dedication she reminded them it was created with their teamwork.

“The mosaic is made up of thousands of pieces, and they are all different – different shapes and colors but they are all made of the same stuff on the inside,” McMillan said. “The mosaic pieces are just like them, all different. But our differences are what make us beautiful.”

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