Funds are made available by a grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and New Jersey Historical Commission and administered through the Ocean County Cultural & Heritage Commission.
“The mural really is beautiful—the most beautiful thing about it is our membership and community worked on it together,” said Guild President Kim Cesaretti. “It shows the diversity of our community. Art is inherently inclusive. Art is for everyone. We all come together to learn to live and grow. We grow art, artists and art lovers in Ocean County.”
All the members of the Guild were asked to submit line drawings of local flora and fauna. The result is, “We have a flower garden with some birds and bugs, dragonflies,” said Cesaretti. “It was a collaborative effort and then we took the drawings and composed the image digitally and colorized it and then projected it on mural fabric,” she explained. Members were then invited back to paint the design and it was mounted on board and weatherproofed with varnish. To make the mural accessible to people with limited eyesight the text was raised in Braille.
“We also hyped the [drawings’] outlines with black textured paint—a paste that you squeeze through a
[pastry] piping bag. This allows visually impaired people to ‘see’ it,” she said. The mural is installed in the front of the Guild’s restored 1880 Queen Anne Victorian located at 22 Chestnut Street in historic Island Heights.
When thinking of the mural’s significance, Cesaretti again made the analogy of a garden. “We have the perennial [members] who always come back and the annuals who come for a season. We consider ourselves the good soil and the soft place to land for our seeds of creativity to take root, be nurtured and
grow and bloom.”
That’s another part of our garden—we serve people of all ages, we’re intergenerational. And we are here no matter your age, creed, race or political affiliation—art is the great equalizer. We all come together at the Guild. Together we are better and part of something great. We’re just happy to be here for the community.”