Though she has painted images from her travels in Europe and the United States, Patricia Arroyo has an extra soft spot for Asbury Park. It’s where she spent many childhood summers with her father.
“The amusements, the games, everything,” says Arroyo, who paints out of Camp Evans in Wall. “None of it is there now, but of course we went on the rides on the boardwalk ... I have faint memories of the Sky Ride. Of course in the Palace, that’s where most of my memories are.”
Those memories evolved into something Arroyo of Wall describes as a combination of realism and illustration. By hand, she paints many iconic scenes of Asbury Park with watercolor, acrylics and oils on canvas, paper or wood.
Many of the images involve Tillie, the nickname of the grinning figure painted on the side of the Palace Amusements building, and is known as the city’s “fun face.”
“About 1996, I took a lot of pictures of Asbury,” Arroyo recalls. “At that time, it was desolate....