CONCORD — Bryan Kalentek likes to make people happy. As a real estate agent, he loves to see the joy on a new homeowner’s face, so it makes sense that he would want to bring that same look to others around him.
He does it around Christmas, when he decks out his front yard with an amazing light show to help raise money for charity.
And now, the man known as “Broker Bryan” is trying to channel those same feelings into the difficult time that is the COVID-19 pandemic by making his own ode to Philadelphia’s “LOVE Park” right here in Concord.
Kalentek, the owner of Realty 76 in Concord, cut his own “LOVE” sculpture out of plywood and put it on his front lawn for his neighbors to see. And because he didn’t want to stop there, he also brought out his Christmas lights and turned it into a show.
“Because of this COVID situation and people loving what I call ‘Lights of Joy’ for Christmastime, I just had the idea to make this ‘LOVE’ sculpture,” Kalentek said. “So I had to think about how to do it.
“Years ago, I saw somebody make a ‘LOVE’ sculpture out of snow; that was really cool … so now, with the situation we’re in, the idea came to me to do it out of wood.”
Kalentek had never used a jigsaw before, but he made it work.
It took him some time, but he carved the sculpture out of a single piece of plywood, got some help painting it, and assembled it on his front lawn.
But he wasn’t going to stop there. He turned it into a light show to honor those who have been working so hard during this time.
“People have been loving it,” he said. “So then I started to bring some of my Christmas lights out and do more lights.
“When I read about Charlotte making the building green for first responders and then purple for the health care workers, I decided to have one tree that’s all green and another that’s all purple.”
Kalentek has been doing his Christmas light show for several years, so he’s had practice putting it all together.
The sculpture was certainly a new experience, but one in which he feels good about the end result.
“I actually surprised myself,” he said. “After finding a big-enough piece of wood, I discovered I couldn’t find a stencil. I looked online and couldn’t find a stencil for this sculpture, so I had to make my own.
“I ordered some of the same kind of signs I use for my real estate signs, and one sign was one full letter. That was big enough. I spent over $100 just on signs I needed to cut up for stencils. And then I put it together to go on the wood, and I impressed myself.”
This is only the beginning of this for Kalentek.
He plans to keep his lights up as long as he can to show support and bring a little bit of joy as the state is closed down due to COVID-19.
But he also might look into going patriotic in the coming weeks with Memorial Day just around the corner.
He will do it as long as it has an impact.
“Because of the gratitude we’re getting from people, it’s such a great present,” he said. “It’s worth it to spend the time and money to do things like that.”
You can see the sculpture at 2634 Lansing St. NW in Concord.