Community Mural Magic
Updated: Feb 22, 2022
One of the best decisions I made in 2021 was to join the Point Beach Arts Committee. At first, I was hesitant, fearing that I didn't have much to offer. My schedule is pretty full. But I was missing the sense of an art community in my life. After inquiring, the first person to reach out to me was Kristi. We spoke on the phone and I knew right away that I was going to like working with her. I can hear her smile in her voice over the phone. You know the type. Warm, welcoming, a breath of fresh air. I pitched some ideas to her and we agreed, we have to meet. Plans were made, cappuccinos were drank, and I left our first meeting with my mind spinning, feeling like a world of possibilities was unraveling before me.
While Kristi and I developed our relationship over time we worked on a variety of ideas together, one of the most exciting being a large mural on the side of building she and her husband had been working on. She and her husband were restoring a building and starting up a new burger joint. I kept the mural idea to the side while we worked on 100 Shore Things and organized a summer art festival called Beach pARTy. After the festival it was time to get serious about the mural. There were three things I knew:
1. I was going to need a lot of help
2. This was going to be big! – Physically, emotionally, and publicly
3. I had an amazing opportunity because of this project.
So what’s next? We agreed it would be fun to get the entire community involved in the painting. So we started sharing all over our various social media platforms and in community groups. Once we built a good buzz, we choose a weeks worth of dates to paint on and created an online sign up sheet. (www.signupgenius.com). We allowed four volunteers to come paint in 2 hour shifts. I was amazed when the time slots filled up within the first two days. People were emailing me that they were sad because they couldn’t get a slot! Of course, I told them to come by anyway, and they did.
The night before the first day of painting I went to the building and used sidewalk chalk to draw a big paint by number. I was so excited to get started, and then a storm rolled in…. The next day I was onsite at 8 am with my chalk and about 10 gallons of paint. I wanted the first two hours to myself so I could go over the entire project in my head, organize the work space, and make sure the design was perfect. At 10 am the volunteers started to arrive and it seemed like they just kept coming. I met so many incredible people on the first day. My heart was so full of gratitude and excitement.
And then we were slapped in the face by a heat wave. I mean a really really hot one! I though to myself, ‘This is it, no one is going to show up. I’m going to be there all alone and melt away’. But what happened was truly amazing. More people came to paint! And they brought coolers with cold drinks. For the rest of the week about 50 volunteers sweat in the boiling hot sun and painted with me. My Aunts and Uncles came, my cousins, my friends, their friends, passersby even came over and painted for a while.
Our local newspaper, The Ocean Star came by to interview up about the project and their photographer took photos. The next day we were on the front page!
On the fourth and fifth day, my husband Gary painted the entire time and we had an absolute blast. At the end of the last day, we cleaned up the paints and celebrated a very long, hard, hot, and happy week. The painting was complete and it looked exactly as I had imagined it would. The colors are so vibrant and cheery. Immediately people were sending me photos of themselves in front of the mural. It makes me so happy to see the joy that big colorful wall brings to people daily.
Special Thanks to:
Lisa Lewis for taking beautiful photos of the project
My parents for watching the boys all week so I could paint!
The Point Beach Arts Committee for trusting me to complete this project
Bam Bam Burger for the wall, the smiles, and the drinks!
The Ocean Star for the beautiful article
Gary for his endless support and awesome painting skills
My friends and family who believe in my art and give me endless support
The volunteers who came out to paint and strengthen our beach community