Updated: August 10, 2020 10:35 PM
Created: August 10, 2020 10:32 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. —When the pandemic forced businesses to close in March, Albuquerque artist and teacher Courtney Angermeier put all her efforts into spreading positivity and raising money for relief efforts. Angermeier was able to accomplish all of that through her art.
The bright colors and carefully crafted creatures painted by Angermeier along Columbia Drive offer a nice change to passersby.
“This giant corridor of wall and there’s a lot of gun violence back there, there’s a lot of drug traffic along this stretch and a lot of just nefarious activities going on back there,” said Angermeier. “So for myself, I wanted to beautify it, but there’s been a huge response from the neighborhood.”
When schools closed back in March, Angermeier was in search of a project and was lucky enough to find a blank canvas in her own neighborhood. Her murals depict New Mexico landscapes among the natural vegetation.
“I made out a flier and I sent it to everyone on this block that has a wall that borders this kind of bleak stretch back here, and slowly I’ve gotten permission,” she said.
What started as a beautification project quickly grew into much more. People were willing to hire her to paint murals. Her $40 an hour rate transitioned into money for organizations like Roadrunner Food Bank, NAACP, and the Navajo Nation COVID relief fund.
“I am not a good organizer. I’m not a ‘t-crosser’, or an ‘i- dotter’ and I really want to sit around and create art so it’s sort of like how can I do what I want and have that work towards the world that I want,” said Angermeier.
Angermeier said she wants to create a mural along the cemetery wall that borders the street on Columbia Drive. She’s also hoping to get her new middle school art students involved.
As a new Jackson Middle School art teacher, Angermeier said this art has become so much more and turned into a symbol of hope, beauty and positivity.
“I think especially during this time, this COVID time, that kids need an outlet. They need to play. They need to express themselves,” said Angermeier. “So I’m really excited to be teaching art in this particular time.”
Angermeier has raised around $5,000 for those organizations so far.
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