50-foot mural project completed downtown

A champagne toast took place on Aug. 11 to celebrate the completion of the new mural that now brightens up downtown Glen Cove. Over the course of a week, muralist Shei Phan painted the tower of the Brewster Street Garage. It took Phan just seven days to finish the project, which brings a striking blast of color to the highest point of the parking garage that can be seen from School Street.

The project, funded by the Glen Cove Downtown Business Improvement District, transformed the bare wall into a design that represents the musical aspect of Glen Cove: Downtown Sounds.

Artist Shei Phan, third from right, with, from left, John Zozzaro, Angelo DiMaggio, Ylisa Kunze, Leg. Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, Patricia Holman, Deputy Mayor Donna McNaughton, Alvin Batista and Vinny Martinez.
Photo by Okulus Photography

Phan, who lives in Oklahoma, arrived in Glen Cove on Aug. 4 and began painting the next day. Using a lift, Phan tackled the 50-foot tower one section at a time, enduring long days in the summer heat in order to complete the mural. She finished on the afternoon of Aug. 11, just in time for the celebratory toast.

To mark the occasion, members of the Downtown Business Improvement District, the Glen Cove City Council, the City of Glen Cove Department of Public Works and other community members celebrated with champagne at the site of the mural, witnessing Phan signing her work. Richie Cannata, whose likeness is featured on the mural, attended the celebration, along with Mayor Pam Panzenbeck, Deputy Mayor Donna McNaughton and Leg. Delia DeRiggi-Whitton.

“This mural not only memorializes 25 years of Downtown Sounds,” said Patricia Holman, executive director of the Glen Cove Downtown Business Improvement District, “but exhibits the music that weaves our diverse community together.”

Phan, 32, was one of the top five contestants on “America’s Next Top Model” in 2014, which brought her international fame. Soon after the show, she quit modeling to return to her first passion: art. Phan developed a love of art as a child, and realized she had talent by middle school. She went on to major in art education at the University of Central Oklahoma, and has painted murals in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, and throughout Oklahoma.

During the week, Phan connected with several community members who helped make her stay in Glen Cove more comfortable by offering rides when no car service was available or assisting with any challenges that arose. Half of the paint used for the mural was generously donated by Aboff’s Paint, and Vinny Martinez from the Department of Public Works helped with issues that came up with the lift. Phan said she was thankful for the opportunity to take on the project.

“It turned out beautiful and I enjoyed every challenge brought to the table,” Phan said. “I was so happy to meet the community and now be a part of it.”