Watch the mural unfold at the Hazlet Township Library!
One and a half years ago, Hazlet Township upgraded its Library with a fresh, new ceiling and enhanced lighting. On Monday, July 23, a facelift of another sort began at the library, and – rather than closing as it did during its previous project – the public is encouraged to watch the progress of this project.
July 23 became “Mural Monday,” the day two artists began sketching a timeline of Hazlet’s history that will span not only 34 feet of library wall space, but two centuries in the life of this community.
“Hazlet has such a rich history that is hidden by the busy community we see now,” said Beth Henderson, librarian at the Hazlet Library, which is a branch of the Monmouth County Library. “When the artists and I first met to discuss the project, probably three or four years ago, we all knew instinctively this was the direction the mural should go.”
The mural is being created by artists, Prudence Brown and Amber DeGruttola, Manasquan, who will be assisted by three very artistic Hazlet teens. Several years ago, the artists created a mural in the Howell Township Library depicting Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party, but replacing the figures with literary characters.
The $4,300 project is being funded by the Hazlet Township Library Committee, a group of residents appointed by the township committee to oversee library operations and act as a liaison between the library and the town. The money for the project was raised through the library committee’s quarterly book sales.
The mural is being created on a 34- by 4-foot wall in the children’s section of the library. Anchoring the art will be the Blue Comet, a commuter train that linked shore towns to New York City from 1929 to 1941 and stopped in Hazlet.
Scattered across the mural will be the mascots of each of the township’s eight schools. “Aside from just taking in the history the mural will represent, hiding the mascots in the picture will create a local version of the book ‘I Spy,’ ” Henderson said, referring to the popular children’s series by Jean Marzollo.
The mural is expected to take three weeks to complete. “I encourage all of Hazlet’s residents to follow its progress. Every day it will look different; there will be something more to see. As a parent, I think this is a great way to show children how a project like this is created. As a librarian, this is another great reason to visit the library if you haven’t been by in awhile,” Henderson said.
The library’s hours are Monday and Wednesday, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays during July and August. Saturday hours will return to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. after Labor Day. The library can be reached at 732-264-7164, and the website is www.monmouthcountylib.org
“And, the next book sale is September 15,” Henderson added.