Over the summer, Charlotte teacher and mural artist, Pam Imhof (a.k.a. @theleftbrainedartist) won a $250 HUG Micro-Grant for materials to paint a mural inside First Ward Creative Arts Academy in uptown Charlotte. That part was simple. But, it was the beginning of a creative odyssey.
While Imhof painted the mural herself over the course of 70 hours (“It took so many coats to cover the cinder blocks!”), she didn’t design it on her own. She asked her co-workers what they wanted to see in her final work through a survey she created.
After reviewing their responses, Imhof developed the themes and visuals at work in the 9-foot by 33-foot mural. The added step she took to ask those who would see it every day to participate in the process resulted in a work of art that already has deep meaning to the school’s staff.
“Most responses included the concepts of diversity and the arts,” said Imhof. “The principal loves the mural and the representation of our school’s arts theme and the diversity of our students. Everyone on the staff has been commenting on how it brightens up our school.”
The paint is barely dry on the mural, but the student response is already rolling in.
“The students absolutely love the new mural,” said Imhof. “The best response I’ve heard came when I first started painting the silhouettes. As the students walked by, I heard them saying things like ‘That looks like me!’ and ‘That looks like you!’ to each other.”
Now that this mural is done, Imhof is already on to her next project — a 300-foot-long street mural along 11th St. for the City of Charlotte’s Urban Design program. It may be a new work of art, but she’s implementing creative tactics learned on her HUG-funded mural: Her students gave her ideas of images to include.
We’ll follow up with Imhof when the street mural is done and report on it here in The Biscuit.
Give a HUG. Get a HUG.
HUG Micro-Grants are funded by NoDa Brewing, Wells Fargo, Google Fiber and individual donors. To give in any amount to a future HUG or to apply for one, visit HUGGrant.com.
*Featured Photo Credit: Pam Imhof
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