ACAF/Artist Charles Barbin works on a new mural earlier this month at Kay-Vil Construction, located at 342 N. New Jersey Ave. in Atlantic City

ATLANTIC CITY – Due to Covid-19 pandemic, the Atlantic City Arts Foundation has postponed its second annual mural week previously scheduled for May 11-17, but the foundation remains committed to creating murals in the city.

Foundation Program Manager Zach Katzen coordinated with local artist Charles Barbin to create a new mural this month at Kay-Vil Construction, 342 N. New Jersey Ave. Using leftover paint the organization had on hand from previous mural projects, Charles created “PERSONAL SPACE,” the third mural on the Kay-Vil building.

The foundation’s 48 Blocks program started the Atlantic City mural arts program in 2017 and the city now has more than 50 murals, including five created during the first mural week event in May 2019.

“PERSONAL SPACE was motivated and inspired by the desire to want to stay together, to congregate with our neighbors and our community as a flock,” Barbin said. “We’ve recently been exposed to a world where we’ve been denied the choice to act socially in a group.”

The mural features a soft yellow background and a colorful, textured cityscape. Barbin used an assortment of stencils and stamps to create texture and layers of color on the buildings. Wires cross the piece, full of birds quietly perched, appearing to be waiting.

“We’ve had to consider spacing, recently termed distancing, being separate. Spaces instinctively functioning as motivations for attraction are now possible risks and thought of as repulsive,” Barbin said. “Birds often sit with each other on wires waiting for an event as simple as a sunset to happen. Our crucial event is happening, now together we wait for it to set and start a new day.”

The foundation hopes to work with local artists to create additional murals in the coming months.

“Like our fellow non-profits, Covid-19 has impacted our funding,” foundation Executive Director Joyce Hagen said.

The foundation is seeking funds to continue community arts projects, serve the community and invest directly in artists, she said.

“This is a challenging time for our city and we know that creativity, art and inspiration are more important than ever in healing and connecting our community.”

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Categories: Atlantic City

Nanette LoBiondo Galloway

Award winning journalist covering news, events and people of Atlantic County for more than 20 years.