By Cynthia Andes
As a young man, artist Edward Heitman found himself drawn over and again to the “…fantastically wide stretching beach with those multiple dunes and …diverse foliage of Barnegat Light.” In the ensuing decades, with Long Beach Island as his muse, Heitman produced thousands of watercolor paintings to become one of the Island’s most treasured and prolific artists.
Born in 1923, Heitman was a native of Philadelphia and a pillar of the summer community of Long Beach Island, New Jersey.
As one of the five founding faculty members of the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences in Loveladies, New Jersey, Heitman taught art to young children from 1959 to 1975. He was known to have said that his students “…had to walk or crawl up steps to a backroom art studio. If they could manage the steps, they were allowed to join my class.”
Over the years, Heitman could be seen swimming at Barnegat Light beach in the morning and painting plein air on the same beach by the afternoon. Known for his hospitality and his love of gardening, in the evening Heitman welcomed friends, neighbors, and family to the porch and gardens of his beloved 1886 Victorian home in Barnegat Light.
Edward Heitman was a graduate of the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Arts and Tyler Institute of Art at Temple University. He leaves behind a body of work that is a monument to his memory. Heitman’s paintings are included in many private collections in the United States and Europe.