Painted landscapes, sea creatures, and Coney Island imagery will take over the People’s Playground during an upcoming mural project that seeks to enliven the neighborhood’s thoroughfares.
“As our business community shifts into recovery mode and the amusement district prepares to reopen, we are ecstatic to be able to bring public arts to our streets and creativity to our business storefronts both on Surf Avenue and the boardwalk along with Mermaid Avenue,” said Alexandra Silversmith, director of the local business group the Alliance for Coney Island, which is spearheading the project.
The business group seeks to cover 15 storefront gates with original, Coney Island-themed murals — and is asking New York City artists to submit their mural proposals for consideration.
The designs should include either historic imagery from the People’s Playground, aquatic scenes, bright colors, or suggestion from the business owners, said Silversmith.
Artists should tailor their submission towards the requirements of the 15 available locations, which include the gates of Coney Island stalwarts such as Nathan’s Famous and Brooklyn Beach Shop on the boardwalk, as well as the sheds outside the Cyclone and Deno’s Wonder Wheel.
All submissions are due March 31, and painting will begin in April, according to Silversmith.
The latest project comes as part of a mural series that the Alliance kicked off in October, when it sponsored six murals on the gates of Surf Avenue businesses. Murals have continued to sprout up across the amusement district, with artist Danielle Mastrion painting a new mural on the two large gates of Ruby’s Bar and Grill on the boardwalk.
The mural project, funded by a New York City Department of Small Business Services grant, aims to increase foot traffic to businesses after the season-long closure of the amusement parks decimated the local economy, causing unemployment to skyrocket and threatening the future of the amusement parks.
But with the upcoming mural project and the imminent reopening of Luna Park and Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, hope is in the air.
“We are particularly grateful to NYC Small Business Services for the funding to make this possible and expand the mural concept,” said Silversmith. “We can’t wait to see what artists propose!”
Correction [March 12]: A previous version of this article said that the Coney Island amusement parks would reopen April 9. Although Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced that outdoor amusement parks are allowed to reopen on that day, the Coney Island amusement parks have not yet announced their reopening date. We apologize for the error.