Community advocacy, education and action group Residents Forward of Port Washington unveiled “The Town Crier,” the latest in a series of murals, on Nov. 11.
The seven-panel mural, located on the eastern wall of Baltimore Collection and Design Center at the intersection of North Maryland Avenue and Main Street, features important dates and facts about the hamlet and the villages it houses.
The design, created by 25-year Port resident and literary cover artist Diane Luger Moen, was chosen in a contest judged by local artists and historians and arranges the facts in a “Town Crier” newspaper.
“Being a graphic artist, I thought what better way to unfold the history of Port Washington than in the pages of the Town Crier?” Moen said in an address to those gathered at the dedication. “My hope is that the mural will continue to educate our residents today, as well as future generations to come.”
Moen also applauded painter Jason Diaz, who transferred her design to the brick wall on North Maryland Street.
“Jason spent hours in the evening projecting and tracing the details, and he would come back day after day to paint it all in,” Moen recalled. “Even when unforeseen obstacles would come up, weather-related or otherwise, he never wavered in his tenacity and passion to make everything just perfect. He brought their mural to life and I will forever be grateful to him.”
The mural is one in a series created by Residents Forward’s Port Washington Mural Project, with “The Post Card Mural” and “The Sunset Mural” located at the top of Main Street and “Remembering the Unforgettable Mural” on the wall of Delux Transporation on South Bayles Avenue being the others.
“The idea of the Port Washington Mural Project is to unveil, with each mural, a different facet of what makes our community special, and clearly history is a part of that,” explained Residents Forward Executive Director Mindy Germain. “The goal is that as you walk down Main Street, you get a feel for the whole community.”
Local officials, including Nassau County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton (D-Glen Cove), State Sen. Anna Kaplan (D-Great Neck) and Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-Long Island, Queens) gave speeches discussing the mural’s significance and the actions of Residents Forward. Town of North Hempstead Councilwoman-elect Mariann Dalimonte (D-District 6) was also present for the occasion.
In addition to the unveiling, activities were available for those gathered. Young children were invited to complete scavenger hunts for facts on the mural, and those who finished theirs were rewarded with pennies for penny candy, including licorice, peppermint sticks, saltwater taffy, satellite wafers, and chocolate ice cubes.
Further representing the arts, local folk group the Front Porch Players played the event. The sextet, comprising Port residents Norm Latner on banjolele, Ted Latner on ukulele, Emily Sanders on fiddle, Lisa Danziger on guitar and Cow Neck Peninsula Historical Society trustees Linn Johnson on guitar and Ann Latner on u-bass, underscored the proceedings with songs from Woody Guthrie and the Everly Brothers.
Damon Gersh, founder and chairman of the mural’s presenting sponsor Helping Enrich the Arts in Port Washington (HEARTS), said that the mural represented “what makes Port so special.”
“The word that comes to my mind is ‘celebration,'” Gersh said. “It’s a celebration of our community, a celebration of the arts, a celebration of our history and all the people that contribute to that.”