ATLANTIC CITY — A mural designed to play up the city’s natural resources was unveiled Tuesday at Boardwalk Hall’s West Hall at Pacific and Florida avenues.
Speaking at the unveiling, Mayor Don Guardian said the mural goes far in beautifying what has been one of the city’s most prominent eyesores.
“When you come up the Boardwalk, this kind of blows you away,” he said. “(It was) the ugliest building in town, and now it’s going to be one of the most popular you see.”
The mural, called “Journey,” is the latest project in a collaborative effort by the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and the Atlantic City Alliance to beautify areas of the city in the hopes of encouraging development. Other installations created as part of the collaboration include the Etude Atlantis optical exhibit on the Boardwalk at California Avenue and the park at the former Pinnacle lot on Indiana Avenue.
The mural is complete save for air vents on the side of Boardwalk Hall, which will be replaced and painted over. It was curated by Lance Fung, of Fung Collaboratives, who also worked on the Etude Atlantis and Pinnacle installations. It was designed by El Paso, Texas, artist Mitsu Overstreet.
The mural depicts a beach scene from sunrise to sunset and is made up of 27 approximately 25-foot-by-35-foot panels that wrap around West Hall along Florida and Pacific. Overstreet drew up the overall installation on a tablet and sent it to Philadelphia-based Big Mountain Imaging for printing.
Overstreet said the project fills a niche for a city that otherwise has little art depicting its biggest natural resource.
“It’s almost highlighting something that hasn’t been highlighted here, and kind of creating a new perspective though nature,” Overstreet said.
Fung agreed, saying the mural brings a little of the beach to the city’s streets.
“So much of what you see on Pacific has nothing to do with nature, but a lot of people come for nature,” Fung said. “A lot of people come for the beach.”
Fung said he is working to have the mural illuminated at night.
The mural was installed over the past two weeks and has already gained fans in the local business community. Marilyn Russo, who owns Russo’s Liquor Store on the corner of Pacific and Florida opposite Boardwalk Hall, said it’s a job well done by the CRDA and the alliance.
“It really brings back the days of my childhood, when I used to come to Atlantic City as a visitor, that Atlantic City was the playground of the world,” she said.
With this project nearly completed, the alliance is stepping back from large-scale art installations but will continue doing smaller projects. The CRDA recently announced it has allocated $500,000 in a citywide mural program in partnership with Atlantic County. Executive Director John Palmieri said the group is scouting mural sites.
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