Alive in Nature Mural by Tori Airo


“We had a lot of people who walked by with their dogs on the way to the dog park, they would stop and stare for a while, and ask about the project,” says Ario. “Because we’re so young, people just look so surprised that we were doing this project.”

Ario says her mural is about how, during these trying times, it is often easy to find oneself stuck in constant despair or darkness because of the lack of involvement in nature.

“The hand represents ‘us’ as a whole, attempting to grab the light and pull ourselves out of that darkness. The escape here is shown as sunshine to remind each viewer of the simple wonders in everyday life, such as the beauty and bliss nature provides,” she says.

Working with Gwinnup, Ario says she has been exploring new mediums, such as painting on non-traditional materials and forming three-dimensional works. She hopes to continue with the arts as she prepares to study aviation in college and pursue a career as a commercial pilot.

“I have only made works for myself and family. Having the opportunity to make public art for my town is beyond exhilarating,” she says. “My art has had a very short time to develop, and it is still finding its way.”