Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Oyster Cracker

I had my first gallery show last month and want to show off my posters.  But first, backstory.....
Oyster heyday of the Delaware Bay
I live in Port Norris, in southern New Jersey, where the Maurice and Delaware Rivers meet.  A hundred years ago, it was an oysterman's paradise.  Hundreds of schooners under sail dredged enough oysters to fill 300 train cars every week during the season.  In the 1950's, a disease decimated the oyster beds.  The town was ruined.  In 1962 I was born. I would grow up watching once proud ships dissolve in the muddy banks and buildings vanish in the marsh on which they had been built.  In 1981, I got the hell out.      
The schooner A.J. Meerwald
Fast forward to the 1990's. A woman named Meghan Wren created a non-profit called The Bayshore Discovery Project out of her love for the river.  The group purchased a 1928 schooner called the A.J. Meerwald, which they restored to its 1928 self.  They also purchased a waterfront building known as The Shipping Sheds. This is where, in the heyday, the oyster boats docked, the oysters placed in barrels, then loaded onto awaiting train cars.

After many years of slow, steady progress, and lots of volunteer effort, these sheds have at last been restored, and are now used for educational purposes as well as social events.  Last fall they began a monthly Second Friday event, where there's music, fresh shucked oysters, art, and hanging out at the docks by the river.  A very nice night out.

The Shipping Sheds then and now.

So when Meghan asked if I would design a sign for their new cafe, The Oyster Cracker,  I jumped at the chance to be part of this cool place. I used the opportunity to try different styles, playing on my Cintiq.  There were enough ideas for a poster show as part of their Second Friday event last month.  They were very well received and we sold almost a dozen prints.  Check them out, FLIP friends!
Cracker Box                           Royster
R. Crumb                                Jesse
Super Oyster                          Silhouette      
Folk Art                               Rebus
Linocut Red                        Linocut Blue
They're available for purchase, $60 for an 18 X 24" print.  A third of all proceeds goes to The Bayshore Discovery Project.  A third goes to the print shop.  And a third goes to the Steve Moore beer fund - please give!  Order now! Maureen at the Bayshore Discovery Project is standing by.  Click here!