HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — On the plain white wall at Impact Academy, Lindaluz Carrillo saw a canvas.
She began her new mural Thursday by painting a pastel palette of colors including mint, lavender and soft orange on the bare hallway wall, knowing her choices would brighten the space without seeming too harsh.
“Calming colors are really important for a space like this,” Carrillo said.
The mural, along with a related one on another wall of the high school, would display positive messages chosen by students reminding them to “be brave” and “speak up.”
Carrillo, 26, is a urban artist and graphic designer from Hartford whose murals at schools, near a future playground and even on the ground in the middle of a city intersection are helping bring art to the community.
She also works with young creators in different programs and sometimes even invites them to help her paint murals, encouraging their creativity and helping them feel invested in their neighborhoods.
“Everyone’s an artist, I feel,” Carrillo said. “It’s just a matter of how much exposure is given to them.”
Most of Carrillo’s creations combine bold colors with graffiti-style lettering and patterns inspired by her family’s Peruvian roots. Many of the phrases she uses come out of her personal beliefs about the importance of family and self-love.
C.J. Desir, a 22-year-old artist helping Carrillo paint the Impact Academy mural, said he thinks her mentorship will help him graduate from painting on his bedroom walls.
Desir likes the originality in Carrillo’s work, how…
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