ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — The Atlantic City Arts Foundation started adding murals to Atlantic City in 2017 through their 48 Blocks AC program. There are now over 50 murals in the city that have been supported by ACAF, including 5 created during the city’s first mural week in May of 2019. Due to Covid-19, the organization has postponed their second mural week originally scheduled for May 11-17, 2020 but they are still committed to creating murals in the city.
ACAF program manager Zach Katzen coordinated with local artist Charles Barbin to create a new mural this month at Kay-Vil Construction, located at 342 N. New Jersey Avenue in Atlantic City. Using leftover paint the organization had on hand from previous mural projects, Charles created “PERSONAL SPACE”, the third mural on Kay-Vil’s building.
“PERSONAL SPACE was motivated & inspired by the desire to want to stay together, to congregate with our neighbors and our community, as a flock. We’ve recently been exposed to a world where we’ve been denied the choice to act socially in a group,” Barbin shares.
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. 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,” explains Barbin.
ACAF hopes to create additional murals in the coming months, working with our local artist community. “Like our fellow non-profits, Covid-19 has impacted our funding. We are doing everything we can to secure funds so we may continue to create art in our city, serve our community, and invest directly in artists,” shares Joyce Hagen, ACAF’s executive director. “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.”