Atlantic City Weekly / At the Shore / Press of Atlantic City   January 4, 2022

Where the sea meets the land

Local artist creates visual love letter to the shore in his first solo show


It’s easy to get used to the natural beauty that surrounds you. While a traveler from a landlocked state might stop dead in his tracks to marvel at the wonders of the incredible seascapes of the Jersey Shore, to many of us locals, they fade into the background, as marshlands and oceans alike become merely a common site for those who are lucky enough to live among them.

But for local painter Tim Faherty, their beauty is never overlooked. In fact, the subtle and not-so-subtle charms of the Jersey Shore are the central focus of his first solo show — “Tidelands” – that will run to Jan. 29 at the Ocean City Arts Center, with a Meet the Artist reception to be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Jan 14.

Some good ‘Press’

Faherty’s name may ring a bell for some readers, as he worked as both a journalist and as the head of the graphics department for The Press of Atlantic City for more than 30 years. But after retiring only a few years ago, he has once again reignited his love of creating art purely for the joy of it, a concept that goes back to his earliest days.

“I’ve always had a pencil in my hand ever since I was little,” Faherty says. “In fact, when I was a kid, my aunt and uncle were worried about me because I had this habit of drawing even when I didn’t have a pencil in my hand, so I would be sitting there at dinner with my hand moving all over the place. Eventually they asked what was wrong and I said, ‘I’m just drawing pictures in my head.’”

The pictures in Faherty’s head have only gotten more vivid and expressive throughout the different chapters of his life. And his ability to bring them to life on a canvas – whether it’s in oils, pastels or acrylics – is impressive to say the least.

“I painted when I was in college, and I’ve always done some work on the side,” he says. “When I stopped working at The Press, I wanted to get back to creating art with my hands. I had been working on a computer using Photoshop and Illustrator for so long to tell a story, but I think I’m still telling stories in my art.”

The Show

Clearly Faherty’s knack for storytelling has successfully transferred to his most recent work, as “Tidelands” feels about as cohesive a collection of paintings as humanly possible.

“This whole show is a love letter to the Jersey Shore,” he says. “It’s very much oriented toward that area where the sea meets the land. I’ve done some different kinds of things, but this is very much a show about the beaches, the wetlands and the bays.

“When I was growing up, I lived in Ewing Township, which is in the western part of New Jersey, and we would only get to the Jersey Shore maybe once a year. And when you got here you would cross that bridge and smell the salt air and get all excited. It wasn’t until years later that I ended up moving to this area. So I still have that sort of excitement and amazement when I see certain things, and in my work I am trying to reflect those feelings.”

Much of the excitement reflected by Faherty comes across not only in the bigger and more obvious elements of the shore such as the ocean itself, but in the ways human beings interact with those elements.

“The shore isn’t just a place to go, it’s an experience to have,” he says. “I like to paint the interactions that people have with the shore, whether that’s the lifeguards in their boat crashing through a wave or the way the Route 52 bridge has become a sort of tourist attraction unto itself.”

But beyond the beauty of how it all looks on the canvas, is there a true goal to Faherty’s art? Yeah, in a way there is.

“Springsteen says that songs don’t really teach people things, but that they remind people of things. And I think visual art can do the same thing,” Faherty concludes. “I hope my paintings remind people of things, whether that’s reminding you that you had a great day at the beach and that you love Sea Isle City or reminding you of how fragile all of this is and that the things that we love about the shore aren’t guaranteed, that we have to guard them or they will disappear.”


Where: Ocean City Arts Center, 1735 Simpson Ave. Ocean City

When: Through Jan. 29, with a Meet the Artist reception 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 14

How much: Free

More info: Art from the show can be seen at

Ocean City Sentinel January 12, 2022

Summer at the shore courtesy of Faherty’s ‘Tidelands’

OCEAN CITY — The gallery at the Ocean City Arts Center kicks off the new year with a solo show featuring the work of painter Tim Faherty.

“Tidelands” — a name that sums up Faherty’s fascination with the shore — opened Jan. 4 and will be on display through Jan. 29. A reception with the artist is scheduled for 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 14. The gallery is located on the second floor of the Ocean City Community Center at 1735 Simpson Ave.

Faherty, 66, grew up in Ewing Township, Mercer County, and now lives in the Seaville section of Upper Township. He and his wife, Gayle — a watercolor artist and a former special education teacher in Upper Township — have two grown daughters, Katie, 38, of Ewing, and Erin, 36, of Shelton, Conn.

Faherty has always worked as an artist. For most of his career, he was graphics editor for The Press of Atlantic City, winning many awards for his columns, graphics and illustrations. His comic strip, “Just Add Walter,” was nationally syndicated by King Features. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Trenton State College, where he majored in English and minored in journalism and art.

“I did a lot of illustrations using computer drawing programs,” he said. “I did some painting in college, so when I stopped working full time in 2017, I wanted to get back to that, making art by hand.”

Faherty said he was fortunate to find some good teachers.

“There are great classes offered at the Ocean City Arts Center and through the Cape May County library system, and some of the nationally known artists in the area, people like Stan Sperlak and Lance Balderson, also teach,” Faherty said.

It was these local artists who inspired him to delve further into his newfound passion.

“There’s a great community of artists in this area, and they’re generous with their knowledge,” he said. “It’s been very cool to become friends with people whose work I admire.”

Viewing his work, it’s immediately evident why Faherty calls himself “a painter in love with the coast.”

Across his canvases, dawns flooded with color break over endless marshes, lifeguard boats crash through the surf and bridges curve gracefully over the bay.

“This is such a special area, where the edge of the continent rolls into the sea. It’s not just a place, it’s an experience,” Faherty said.

His work highlights locals who make their encounters with nature part of their everyday life, whether through work or play while fishing, surfing, sailing, kayaking or chasing beautiful sunsets.

In oils, acrylics and pastels, Faherty’s paintings try to capture these moments of intersection: people with nature, land with sea, ocean with sky.

Faherty often tries to capture movement in his work, especially the power of the sea.

“In a way, it’s like the act of painting itself,” Faherty said. “These paintings reflect my own interaction with the ocean, the saltmarshes, as well as with the canvas and the colors on my palette. It’s a give-and-take conversation, one that’s not complete until the viewer interacts with the painting.”

The paintings in “Tidelands” also seek beauty where it might not be apparent, in commonplace things such as a weathered door, a water tower or the wetlands themselves — often overlooked by motorists rushing to the beach — even broken seashells.

“Faherty’s shell paintings, with names such as ‘The Beauty of the Broken,’ may be a commentary on all of us, with our perfect imperfections,” states information from the Arts Center. “They also touch on a theme that underlies many of the beautiful landscapes and seascapes in this show — the fragility of everything we love about the shore.”

The show also includes a few woodcut/watercolor monoprints and some “reconstructed” works, in which images are cut up and reassembled, a way of presenting multiple viewpoints at the same time.

“This show at the Ocean City Arts Center is the remedy for anyone who’s missing summer this time of year. Working in oil, acrylic and pastel, Tim tries to convey the life and light of this uniquely beautiful area,” according to the Arts Center.

Regular Arts Center hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Call (609) 399-7628 for more information.

Cape May Magazine, Spring 2021