Fine Art in Monmouth Beach
A grand glance of old Monmouth Beach …
She is the borough’s “artist-in-residence” — Gail H. Gannon — now in perpetuity upon her passing in February 2023. The lifelong borough resident was much admired for her canvas chronicles of historic Monmouth Beach. I’m forever grateful she shared her talent with the rest us. Her gift for capturing iconic borough times brings joy to the observer’s heart and mind.
Gail’s attention to detail for historic borough times and places is unmatched. Her use of color is so rich and true it feels like time stands still. It’s almost as if you can step right into a scene — so skilled is she in presenting the elements. At once peaceful and powerful, her paintings serve as a springboard for my memories. It’s impossible to pick a favorite. Her art collection, including about 20 pieces, are done in acrylic. Gail lived in Monmouth Beach for over 60 years where she and her husband, Jack (a MB First Aid Squad charter member), raised four children.
“To know what you’re going to draw you have to begin drawing.”
Gail started painting in the 1960s with instruction from Ida Libby Dengrove, the acclaimed TV courtroom illustrator. Working for NBC-TV News from 1973 to 1986, Dengrove captured images from NYC’s most notorious court cases (all on a 14×17 sketch pad; TV wasn’t permitted in New York courts). She won two Emmy-Awards and wrote, My Days in Court: Unique Views of the Famous and Infamous by a Court Artist (1990). Her 6,000-piece art collection is at the University of Virginia’s Arthur J. Morris Law Library. The Philadelphia native died in Los Angeles in April 2005.
Here’s sampling of Gail’s painting: