Thursday, December 27, 2012

Time to Clean Up

Day 1

Those who have followed the news of the Belmar Arts Council over the past two months know that we have suspended most of our activities since the end of October and Sandy's arrival on our shores.  (the painted barriers closer to the beach are a notable exception) Belmar took over the Boatworks to use as an aid intake and redistribution center, filling the building with all kinds of relief supplies.  There are still several large truck trailers parked outside the building, which one assumes will eventually be hauled (along with their contents) to other places.  However, much of the building itself has been emptied, and so on Thursday morning the BAC began the process of clearing the building of what remained, and getting it cleaned up and ready for a new season of art.  Supplies that could be of use to local charitable organizations were packed up to be redistributed.

We had a great turnout today, 15 to 20 people running around the Boatworks, hauling boxes, moving furniture, scrubbing, demolishing, sweeping, etc.

As long as various repairs were going on, it was decided to remove a corner of the wall that separates the office from the rest of the back room.  This will give us a little more space, and a wider view of the stage for performances.

As we suspected, the front room saw a little more damage (some water had gotten in), permanently damaging the sheet rocked walls.  They looked fine, but had been in standing water, so disintegration and mold were inevitable.  The lower two feet were of wall board were removed all the way around, and the framing treated to arrest moisture damage.

Day 2

Work continued on Friday.  That corner of the old office that was cut off yesterday was framed and sheet rocked to create a new angled wall- a better view of the stage area, and we can still hang art on the wall.

However the bigger job was in the front room.  The lower two feet of sheet rock had been removed all the way around the room, exposing the wall studs and the outer wall of the building.  The framing was sprayed and fans were deployed around the room to speed the drying of the wood.  After we are satisfied that the wood is dry, fresh sheet rock will go up.

More volunteers will be needed in the coming weeks to continue the process of getting the Boatworks ready for a full schedule of art exhibitions, classes, performances, etc.  The walls and floors will all need a bit of work from our volunteers.  If you are interested in lending a hand, check the BAC main website on a regular basis.  Information will be posted there to let people know when various help will be needed.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Murals, Murals, Everywhere

The Boatworks is still serving an important function for Belmar's Sandy recovery, but we hope to be getting it ready soon for a busy 2013 series of exhibitions, classes, performances, etc.  But that hasn't stopped us from working on art.  As part of the clean up of Belmar, a series of concrete barriers was installed along A Street from 7th Avenue to 20th Avenue, to divert non-local traffic away from Ocean Avenue while the heavy equipment is busy.  Those concrete 'Jersey walls' are effective, but not particularly pretty, so the BAC was invited to help decorate them.  Belmar Paint and Decorating on Main Street donated large amounts of blue paint so that each could be given a background coat front and back, along with some brushes.  Volunteers jumped at the chance to adopt a barrier and turn it into something bright and colorful.  The process has been going on for a few weeks.  Below are some examples of these barriers:

8th Avenue and A
Bob Mataranglo

9th Avenue and A
Merry Brennan and friends

10th Avenue and A
Pat and John Hutchinson

11th Avenue and A
Katie Maricic

12th Avenue and A

13th Avenue and A
Garth Gutierrez

14th Avenue and A
Kathryn Paul and Ava

15th Avenue and A
Rochelle Ritacco (front)
Girl Scout Troop 1517 (back)

16th Avenue and A
Tim Lucas and Friends

17th Avenue and A

18th Avenue and A
Cindy Dunn
Louise Rempe
Neil Schenk
Linda Sanfilippo

A few of the barriers shown above are still in progress, and there are a few along the route that haven't been started yet, but if we get enough decent weather, I'm sure we'll find people to finish them all.  Some of the artists have told us they have been getting many positive comments from the people who live on these blocks, who appreciate the artistic efforts of the BAC and other Belmar volunteers.  Photos of other barriers around town can be seen on the BAC website.  Even better, park your car on A Street and stroll up and down from 7th to 20th and see them for yourself.