The Story of Beach Town Posters Artist Aurelio Gristany and Clare Conley
by Ryan Reclaim on 01/11/13
Beach Town Posters’ Capture Popular Local Resorts’ Essence
Looking for the perfect holiday gift for a beach lover?
A unique local business, “Beach Town Posters,” offers a series of retro Art Deco prints by internationally acclaimed artist Aurelio “Rail” Grisanty.
Grisanty’s prints are similar to vintage postcards and travel ads from American resort towns in the 1920s and 30s. He started creating prints when he couldn’t find nostalgic, tasteful beach posters for his home in Rehoboth Beach, a press kit states.
Grisanty’s images are bright, cheery and aim to capture appeal of popular vacation spots.
The collection started with a few local beaches and expanded across the country due to customer response. The series now represents 57 beach vacation destinations it is constantly expanding.
Grisanty said his pictures are less about the image of a town and more about the feelings the town evokes in its residents and visitors.
“The goal is to get something done to get to the heart of the people who live there,” Grisanty said. “Something they can feel proud of and reflect their love for the area.”
Clare Conley of the Blue Room Gallery handles sales and distribution while Grisanty works on creation and production. The two work closely together on a daily basis to plan geographical strategies, Grisanty said.
The process begins with a goal for the next town poster. Grisanty told the Herald he first researches the town online and surveys residents to find what is best suited to symbolize it.
“Sometimes they come out really easy, and other times it’s more complicated,” he said.
Grisanty said he often receives suggestions for towns and images to represent those towns. Ideas are welcomed on the Beach Town Posters Web site. He said he often travels to the towns to “get the feel for it.”
Many of his pictures have a nostalgic look. Grisanty said he explores heritage, history and origin of the towns to get an idea of the time period he wants to reflect.
“I want to make it an instant classic,” he said.
Grisanty and Conley don’t like to feel pressured to produce work quickly.
“We don’t want it to turn into something we dislike. It’s pleasurable. It’s something we both really enjoy and we want to keep it that way,” he said.
Grisanty said he is currently concentrating on New Jersey and North Carolina. In the Garden State, he is working on posters for Atlantic City and Ocean City. He has already created posters for Stone Harbor, Avalon and Cape May.
Grisanty was born in the Dominican Republic and graduated with a degree in Fine Arts in Mexico City. He worked as a faculty director of graphic design at the Catholic University of Santo Domingo and Autonoma University of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.
His advice for aspiring artists is, “Try to make a good living out of what you love doing.”
He retired teaching to pursue a painting career in 1979 and moved to Washington, D.C.
In 1997, the United States government granted Grisanty citizenship as an Exceptional Individual of International Renown.
He continues to live in Rehoboth and has an office in Milton.
Posters measure 18 X 24 inches. Browse an online gallery at www.beachtownposters.com