Mural Project Underway on Beacon Motel

Mural Project Underway on Beacon Motel

(LEWES, Del.) - One Sussex County artist is moving closer to finishing a mural aimed at enhancing the beauty and culture in Lewes. Damon Pla of Dagsboro is painting what will be the Menhaden Mural on the side of the Becon Motel. This mural will honor the history of the city's Menhaden fishing industry.

Pla got right to work Monday morning, painting in the sunlight. "I want that morning light to come through the cabin and all the doors and crevaces and windows of the boat," he says.

Pla spends 8 to 10 hours a day painting the side of the Beacon Motel.

"The sun's only on the wall for about 5 hours in the morning, then I'm in the shadow from noon on," Pla explains.

He started painting last week and says the rain hasn't been too bad. The wind on the other hand has posed as a challenge. "My paint dries pretty quickly," he says.

This mural is an Art in Bloom project funded through a public-private partnership. Tony Boyd-Heron, who owns the Penninsula Gallery under the Beacon Motel, started this project and reached out to Pla. "The opportunity was there. There's a large wall as you can see behind me which would be perfect for a mural," he says.

Boyd-Heron says the inspiration behind the Menhaden Mural comes from its proximity to the Otis Smith Park and Smith's ties to the Menhaden Fishing Industry. He explains, "Otis Smith owned that industry and the park was named after him. The park was named after him. He was also mayor for 18 years, so it's all part of the history of Lewes."

Pla began prepping the wall in March. "We got the lift on the 25th and I started to prime the wall right away, which took a lot of up and down, you know a lot of proportions, erase draw, erase, draw," he explains.

Now Pla will continue adding coats of paint to the wall until it looks like his original painting. He expects to be finished painting by the end of the month and says he chose an exterior mural paint and a pallet that won't fade too quick so that the Menhaden Mural will easily last for more than ten years.

Pla has a Gopro stationed to capture every moment of his work. Once the mural is complete, he'll make a time lapse.