FIRST AVE. PAVILION MURAL 5 YEARS IN THE MAKING: TAKE A FIRST LOOK HERE

Originally published June 4, 2015…

Boardwalk redeveloper Madison Marquette will begin installation of a permanent multi-media mural on the Ocean Avenue side of the First Avenue Pavilion (800 Ocean Avenue) shortly.

The unnamed mural, inspired by a 1700’s map of “East New Jersey,” will encompass 20′ by 30′ of the wall in between the entrances to Watermark and Stella Marina.

Rendering of the soon-to-be installed map mural.

Rendering of the permanent multi-media mural that will be installed on the Ocean Avenue side of the First Avenue Pavilion. Image courtesy Madison Marquette.

“The wall was screaming to be a canvas,” said Carrie Turner, general manager of Madison Marquette.  “We were always planning on doing something ocean-themed that would be special for the community as well as visitors.  When we saw the map idea, everything started coming together.”

The artwork has been in planning stages for approximately five years.  Originally conceived as a whimsical fish or serpent sculpture surrounded by an energetic sea, the map concept gained momentum when commissioned-art director Mel Stulz (Race of Gentlemen founder) presented the Madison Marquette team with an image of a 1700’s map of the New Jersey coastline.

Over time, with consideration to the exterior location, elements, day and night viewing and city’s rich heritage, the map-themed mural evolved into a dynamic multi-media installation.  The final mural design includes a hand-painted rendering of the sepia-toned map accented by an illuminated beacon identifying Asbury Park and three-dimensional compass rose of made of sculpted metal.

This permanent installation – approved by the city’s planning board and supported by the public arts committee – is one component of Madison Marquette’s long-term initiative to support the integration of visual arts in the waterfront experience (see The Coaster’s “Art and Redevelopment,” May 21, 2015).

“The visual arts have an important part to play in the future of Asbury Park,” said Anselm Fusco, senior vice president of Madison Marquette.  “Our goal is to create a collection of permanent and evolving art that people will be excited to come see, and in the process champion the city as a progressive, forward-thinking environment.”

In addition to the aesthetic enhancement of the waterfront, the temporary murals by artists including Pork Chop and Pau Quintanajoret have gone viral and become social media sensations, furthering both Asbury Park’s awareness and identity.  These visual elements are serving as backdrops for thousands of visitor’s vacation photos – a marketer’s dream.  Huge cheers to Madison Marquette and Jenn Hampton, curator of the waterfront art program.

A recent review of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram details more than 12,000 organic posts and reposts of the other mural photos in the past two weeks from as far away as Copenhagen and Tel Aviv.

“These are iconic works of art in the most iconic location at the Jersey Shore,” said Turner.  “Our plan is to continue this program as one of the many reasons for visitors to keep coming to the city year after year.”

Read about the temporary art installations on the waterfront, including Pork Chop’s mural “ladies” in the Casino building and Madison Marquette’s overall visionFor the latest on everything Asbury Park Boardwalk and the Stone Pony, visit APBoardwalk.com (mute the sound).

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Richard@TheBPlot.com

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