Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Mural Capital of the Northeast

Back in 2007, the members of the Belmar Arts Council took a look at the dull gray concrete exterior walls of the Boatworks, our headquarters, and decided that they could use some colorful murals. So that year a group of volunteers put one on the long side of our building, and the following year another group put one on the shorter side. Now it seems like everyone in town wants one, and we're going to try to make that happen. This year the BAC Downtown Mural Project got going, funded by the Belmar Tourism Commission. Four sites were budgeted for this year and we're more than halfway there. The first two are complete, and the third is underway.

Professional muralist Bob Mataranglo produced the above Bruce Springsteen themed mural on the side of the 2nd floor of the Yarnold Building (near Main and 10th), a spot from which Bruce could look out and see his beloved E Street. Bob was an advisor on our first mural, as well as adding the 3D pieces to both of the Boatworks murals.

Beth Gersten, also a professional muralist, was another major participant on our first Boatworks mural, and this year she painted the large one seen above on the side of the Acropolis Diner (Main and 6th), combining a typical local beach scene and a view through a colonnade of Greek style caryatids.

The third Belmar mural is in progress right now. This time around the artist is Jim Fitzmaurice, another experienced muralist and his is going to cover the whole upper half of the back of Freedman's Bakery (Belmar Plaza and 8th Ave). The subject is some of Belmar's annual events, with the surfing competition, St Patrick's Day parade, and typical beach activities showing up so far. Stop by Belmar Plaza in the near future and check on the progress for yourself.
As for the 4th mural, negotiations are in progress right now for a spot further down Main, one that will be painted by BAC volunteers. And the plan is for this series of Belmar murals to be an ongoing project, so look for news about more to come in 2011.

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