Ocean City residents and visitors gathered around the tables in Glazed Over, a paint-your-own pottery studio on Asbury Avenue, painting personalized designs on 4½-inch ceramic tiles.
Ocean City professional artist Mary Alice Campanaro painted a scene of crashing ocean waves on her small square tile while 8-year-old Frankie Wright, of Ocean City, painted a beach scene with the words "I (heart) To Surf" written across the top of her tile, and 3-year-old Caroline Bickings covered her tile in layers of pink and purple paint.
"Everybody always wants to leave their mark on Ocean City - look how popular the memorial benches are - so this a more affordable way of leaving your mark on Ocean City and doing it in a beautiful way," said Ocean City Community Arts Projects (CAP) President Leslie Skibo. "All of these little tiles are going to be all put together to create one beautiful design."
CAP, a nonprofit devoted to beautifying Ocean City through community art projects such as the traffic box murals seen around town, and Glazed Over, a paint-your-own pottery studio on Asbury Avenue, are collaborating on community art project called Mosaic Memories, inviting community members and visitors to design a tile to be incorporated into a larger piece of community art.
Anyone, of any age or skill level, is invited to participate in this project, which is also a fundraiser for CAP.
"You can paint anything you want," Skibo said. "You can paint it purple and put a star on it. You can paint your name on it. You don't have to be an artist. It's just a way for people to put their mark on Ocean City."
The tiles can be created at Glazed Over during it business hours now through Oct. 15.
After that, CAP artists and Glazed Over owner Jennifer Boyce will take the completed titles and put them together to make one big a picture, such as "ocean waves, a sky of seagulls or beach umbrellas," Skibo said. "We'll look at all the different colors and designs and go from there."
The goal is for people to be able to walk around the artwork, find their tile and see how it fits into the whole picture.
"We're thinking it will be a three- or four-sided structure placed somewhere prominent in Ocean City, maybe even with lights on it," she said.
The finished artwork should be completed sometime in late fall 2013 or early winter.
"It's a perfect project to give us a fresh start after the storm, which caused so much turmoil and heartache for everybody in town," said Julie Bickings, who watched her daughter Caroline paint a tile June 3, the project's kickoff date.
Ocean City resident and CAP Vice President Rody O'Rourke, who was painting a tile with her daughter, Caroline, said the project is a great way to bring the community together.
"It builds relationships. It builds community," Rody said. "(The finished piece) will be a new landmark in town. When we were kids, we always used to say 'I'll meet you be the 'W,' which was Wonderland.
"Now, with this, will be able to say I'll meet you at the mosaic mural."
Contact Elisa Lala:
To participate in CAP's Mosaic Memories project, visit Glazed Over during its hour of operation and create a one-of-a-kind personalized tile, 854 Asbury Ave., Ocean City. Tiles are 41/2 inches and can be painted anyway you like. Prices are $20 per tile or two for $35. Call Leslie Skibo at 609-425-2687. Tiles can be created now through Oct. 15 at Glazed Over. For business hours, visit glazedoverstudios.com or call 609-398-8880.