Saturday, April 5, 2014

Train Station Mural part 1

The process of creating a mural for the Belmar train station began last summer, with the first call for design suggestions.  Last fall, new plywood was prepared and attached to the station wall to create a suitable surface for the mural.  The last time we reported on it here on the blog was back in January, when the process of painting the design onto cloth was begun in the Boatworks.  The designing artist, Delia King, has been continuing work on the panels in her own studio since then.  The dedication of this mural is scheduled a few weeks from now, and we've just been waiting for the weather to be suitable for the process of completing this outdoor artwork

The plan was to start the installation yesterday, but that spring weather took another day off.  Delia and Pat used the opportunity to work indoors on some last minute painting.

Today was very windy, but otherwise the weather was much more suitable to our needs.  Warmer, sunny, a beautiful day.  Delia brought the painted pieces and all the other necessary supplies over to the train station platform in the morning.  We had several volunteers there to help, morning and afternoon shifts.

Work began on the right side of the building, where the design includes a view of Belmar's beach.  The first three panels were up on the wall by noon.

This installation process was pretty simple, not unlike putting up wallpaper, except that usually isn't done outdoors in constant 25 mph winds. First, she used a roller (above) to put a layer of acrylic gel glue up on the wall in the predetermined space.  The same roller was used to put more of the glue on the back of each panel (below), laid out flat and upside down on a drop cloth, held in place to keep it from blowing away.

After that, a group of our volunteers helped carry the painted cloth panel over the wall and began adhering it to the wall.  Hands and squeegees smoothed it to the wall, and razor blades were used to trim the pieces to fit the architecture of the building, with more glue added as needed.

Shortly before 4:00 we decided to call it a day.  Most of the larger panels had been installed, from the beach up to New York Harbor.  There are a few more large ones to add on the left side, and some smaller spaces to be filled in with a combination of glued panels and direct painting on the wall, and some touch ups will be needed all over.  But the majority of it is in place.  Above is a view of today's work from across the tracks, and below are closer views of how it looks at each end.

We are expecting nice weather again tomorrow, so the plan is for Delia to return early in the morning with more volunteers and to put in another day's work, creating this beautiful colorful scene to be enjoyed by people waiting for trains, people arriving in Belmar by train, and the hundreds of passengers who pass through the town every day.

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