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Glen Cove’s new mural puts out the welcome mat

Artist-designer Sean Sullivan eyes an old, decaying mural

Artist-designer Sean Sullivan eyes an old, decaying mural on busy Route 107 in Glen Cove on Wednesday, May 4, 2016. Sullivan won a competition to design a new mural for the city. Credit: Uli Seit

A new mural will grace a retaining wall on Route 107 about a half mile from Glen Cove’s southern border.

Volunteers will work in July and August to scrape off and power-wash the current mural and paint a new one, said Darcy Belyea, director of parks and recreation.

The paint on the current mural — which is a waterfront scene with sailboats — is chipped, with the blue water and green parkland on the mural marred by gray blemishes where paint has fallen off. That mural, designed by then-local artist Maria Lewis, was painted more than a decade ago, Belyea said.

“Rather than touch it up, Mayor [Reginald] Spinello suggested we come up with a new design and start from scratch,” Belyea said. “ . . . We just felt we wanted a fresh, new entrance into the city of Glen Cove.”

Attempting to restore the old mural would have been difficult, because of the extensive chipping and difficulty precisely matching the color of the existing sun-faded paint with new paint, she said.

The retaining wall is on southbound Route 107 between Hendrick Avenue and a bridge for Long Island Rail Road trains. Until the current mural was created, the wall had been bare, Belyea said.

Councilwoman Pamela Panzenbeck said the new mural will leave passers-by with a positive impression of Glen Cove.

“People are coming into town and we want it to feel warm and welcoming,” she said.

Officials don’t want the mural to distract drivers, so it’s deliberately not overly detailed, Panzenbeck said.

The new design will spell out “Glen Cove” in geometric shapes and various colors. Sean Sullivan, the Manhattan artist who created the design with fellow artist Scott Zimmerman, of Queens, said his intent was to evoke Glen Cove through colors such as blue, to represent the sea, without painting literal scenes of the city and its coastline.

“I really hate traditional landscapes,” Sullivan said. “I think they’re boring. I wanted something totally different.”

On April 28, the Glen Cove Beautification Commission approved a $10,000 commission for Sullivan and Zimmerman, who will paint the mural with adult and high school volunteers and oversee the work.

The city selected the design from among seven artists’ entries, Belyea said.

Glen Cove is seeking sponsors to defray the cost of paint and other materials, and some of the cost of the commission, she said. To protect the mural from chipping, volunteers will apply a sealant, she said.

The City Council on April 26 approved accepting a New York State Department of Transportation work permit for the refurbishment and repainting of the wall. Route 107 is a state highway.

The work is projected to take about three weeks, and a lane of southbound Route 107 will be closed while volunteers are on site, Belyea said.

Welcome mural

Glen Cove officials recently approved a design for a new mural on a retaining wall on southbound Route 107. The existing mural will be power-washed and scraped off.

The wall is about a half mile from the city’s southern border. It is 400 feet long and curves upward on each side before reaching a peak height of 21 feet, said city parks and recreation director Darcy Belyea. Its edges are less than 4 feet high.

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