Magnolia Playground is permanently populated with surfers catching waves, women sporting early-20th century dresses, and youths playing in the sea and sand. These artistic creations on a wall at the rebuilt beachside park are the work of several local artists.
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The mural design, though, was the brainchild of Alan Nafti, a Long Beach artist who drew it and put the first paint strokes on the retaining wall that is part of a boardwalk reconstruction project. Nafti’s wife, Elizabeth, told Patch that Kristen Gebhard helped him spearhead preparations for the mural, along with a handful of other artists. Most artists who joined the project are teachers from schools throughout Nassau County, virtually all of who are city residents. The artists had some of the 200 volunteers who helped rebuild the Hurricane Sandy-destroyed playground on May 18 use their hands to create wave patterns in the mural.
After the storm Kaboom, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, and JetBlue Airways funded the bulk of the playground rebuilding, awarding the City of Long Beach a grant to rebuild the park.
(Click on a photo to enlarge and activate gallery stream).
Photos by Joseph Kellard and Christina Tisi-Kramer
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