Bristol Bay muralist paints salmonberries to uplift Bethel youth

Apr 8, 2016

Apayo Moore is painting a 60-foot landscape, evoking a summer's day of berrypicking, to be installed at the Bethel Youth Facility in the fall. 

"Salmonberry leaves are really hard to paint," said Moore. "I think some of them look good, and some of them look good enough, and some of them... well, at least the salmonberry's there to tell you what they are!"
Credit Hannah Colton/KDLG

This month, Bristol Bay painter and muralist Apayo Moore has been working on a new mural, a summer tundra landscape she's creating inside the Aleknagik City shop. 

Moore received a grant from the state’s “Percent for Arts” program to paint two 65-foot murals that will be shipped up to Bethel next fall to be installed in the youth detention center there.

"I'm just trying to bring back nostalgia and positiveness into their lives. They're in there because they've committed offenses, so I want to remind them, we make mistakes, we get back up, and afterwards we continue on with life," said Moore. "The constant option that we have for subsistence is what I'm striving to share with them." 

Moore spoke with KDLG’s Hannah Colton this week about this latest mural project, how her art has changed since becoming a mother, and her hope of inspiring younger artists to reinvigorate the local arts community.

With little more than the town's fire truck being stored in the shop building, the City of Aleknagik rented the space to Moore while she paints two different 60' murals for the Bethel Youth Facility.
Credit Hannah Colton/KDLG
Moore and her son after day two of painting. "I post the pictures that I post because I want everyone to understand that this is a legit career."
Credit Apayo Moore