WILDWOOD — As a band played Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” Sunday afternoon under a wooden roller coaster, Morey’s Piers patrons strolled its first Arts & Music Festival at Adventure Pier.
The event held Saturday and Sunday served as a way for musicians, painters, photographers and others to reach a new audience.
“It’s a good opportunity to interact with people and talk about your art and share it with people,” said artist David Macomber, of Cape May. “And it’s a cool spot. The beach is right here.”
Macomber painted the outside of the 11 shipping containers that make up Morey’s Piers’ artBOX.
He has been involved in the artists’ colony at Adventure Pier since it was founded five years ago.
On Sunday, Macomber set up two canvases on easels in one of the containers. Buckets of house paint were piled in the corner.
“I think most people don’t see art being created,” he added.
Morey’s Piers delved into the art scene after co-owner Jack Morey returned from a trip to New Zealand, said company spokesperson Maggie Warner. Morey had seen shipping containers used in a creative way during the trip.
“Adventure Pier is now where we’re able to bring art to Morey’s Piers,” Warner said. The pier is a bit more “grungy” and has more extreme rides than the company’s other two piers, she said.
Stationed in one of the shipping crates is the Culture Crush, a New York-based company that produces photo essays, art and podcasts, among other things. They will be at Adventure Pier all summer, founder Debra Scherer said.
“We want to be in front of people,” she said. “Our plan is to make all new stuff while we’re here, and we really want to connect to the local community.”
Annie Morton, a photographer and contributor for the Culture Crush, recently completed a photo essay on Wildwood. The company’s magazine is showcasing her work.
“It’s an amazing place in the summer,” said Morton, who lives in Pennsylvania but comes to the island every summer. “Lots of different faces. Different textures.”