Local painter adds color to seaport

TUCKERTON Children of Tuckerton will be treated to a new enhancement to the playground at the Tuckerton Seaport this week.

Artist Jesse Demolli toiled in the playhouse located in Marshall Meadows at the seaport on Thursday and Friday.

Painting the entire inside of a house that's modeled from the outside as a life-size dollhouse, Demolli hopes that his mural will entice the local youngsters to not only play but learn the history of their hometown.

The mural, titled "A Day in the Life of a Bayman's Family," depicts the life of a 1940s Tuckerton family who makes a living casting nets.

Demolli, in his pursuit of accuracy, modeled the people in his artwork after the Marshall family, especially Edna Marshall, who serves as the matriarchal figure of the pictorial, and her descendants.

Detail of the Fresco of Saint Joseph

Commission a portrait in Fresco
Imagine you or your loved one depicted in the art of Kings and the Italian Renaissance.

Beacon  -  Photo by Robert Ward
He also did research to find out what furnishings would have been in a house of the era. From the curved design of the refrigerator to the rocking chair that would seat Marshall, Demolli meticulously examined period pictures and advertisements to paint precise replicas.

The real inspiration behind Demolli's design is pictures of Joy Marshall as a child.
"I saw this picture, I didn't even know who she was," Demolli said. "But she was my inspiration, my muse for this project."

The photographs of Joy Marshall, dating back to the summer of 1948, that show her playing outside in historic Tuckerton should give today's children a history lesson, according to Demolli.
"It's going to be an interactive kind of scavenger hunt," Demolli said. "The kids will be able to find things within the picture."

The interior scene also features some "windows to the past" depicting a look at Tuckerton Creek before it had been touched by development.

Demolli, a Little Egg Harbor resident, is no stranger to the seaport utilizing his talents. He was also the artist responsible for the "Walk on the Wild Side" mural that sets the background for the wildlife exhibit in the visitor's center of the seaport.
Known for his authentic fresco work and the several murals he has painted locally, Demolli has become a local celebrity within Little Egg Harbor.

To see the progression of Demolli's children's mural, which was sponsored by Jane Moeller, you can visit his Web site at www.demolliart.com.

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