By Liz Finnegan
July 20, 2017
BLUE POINT—The Long Island Rail Road trestle on Blue Point Avenue is a little brighter these days, thanks to Brownie Troop 2524. The seven 7-year-olds, with the help of their parent leaders and a generous local business, helped to transform the once dark, dreary walls of the infrastructure into a happy place filled with seaside images and a few mermaids, too.
Troop co-leaders Barbara Wright and Michelle Nardella orchestrated the project with another troop parent, Amy Cunningham.
“I got the idea for the mural at the beginning of the year,” said Nardella. “I told the girls’ parents and they thought it was a good idea, too.” Nardella said she then asked the girls to contribute ideas for the subject of the painting and the winner was “Blue Point by the Sea,” which turned out to be a scattering of flowers, sailboats, people and a memorial in the form of two mermaids in honor of two of the parents’ sisters that recently passed away.
The Long Island Rail Road was contacted several times before the troop finally received permission to do the painting. Nardella said she then contacted the Town of Brookhaven, which was agreeable as well. Their luck continued when Brinkmann Hardware in Blue Point agreed to donate all of the materials for the project.
Steve Italiano, a Brinkmann employee, said the moms had approached him for the donations, which he needed to get approved. “The owners [of the business] were right on board with it,” Italiano said. “We donated the materials – the rollers, roller trays, brushes, tarp sheeting, extension poles and around 15 gallons of paint.”
Nardella said with the help of Cunningham, a large paper canvas was created to fit the space. The girls drew their images on it, and then the adults freehanded those onto a freshly primed wall before the troop began the process of painting their designs.
The entire project took about three weeks to complete. As they worked, the community called out words of encouragement as they drove or walked by and complimented them on their work.
“People would stop and give us water or juice boxes. They were so nice,” said Nardella. “We all had a great time. It was a lot of fun.”
Italiano said he was “blown away” the first time he passed by the completed painting. “It’s super detailed, crisp and bright,” he said. “It makes you smile.”
He added that the business would soon be donating gallons of clear coat to seal the painting. “That will be the icing on the cake,” he said.