The Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials (CHaRM) in southeast Atlanta has unveiled a new mural on one of its shipping containers as a way to enliven customers’ experience when they visit the site.

Live Thrive, the nonprofit behind CHaRM, engaged local artist Pamela Tellez Coria to create the mural, which was revealed Feb. 9.

“We appreciate how the community has welcomed and supported CHaRM during the five years since we opened,” Peggy Whitlow Ratcliffe, Live Thrive’s founder and executive director, said in a news release. “With this mural, we hope to give back to our neighbors by making our footprint more fun and attractive.”

Coria, 23, painted her first mural, which is on a 40-foot container. Coria, who has experience as a social media influencer and makeup artist, started her journey as a muralist by assisting artist and activist Yehimi Cambrón. Taking on the CHaRM mural as a solo project, she drew inspiration from the center’s logo and the colors of nature.

“I wanted it to be bold and visible, to catch people’s attention,” she said in the release.

The mural features the CHaRM logo over Earth with the Atlanta skyline in the background. The letters of CHaRM are depicted with some of items the center accepts for recycling. Nine hands at the bottom reach up to exemplify the diversity of the community and how everyone can work together to achieve one goal, which is a cleaner environment.

“I was nervous – it was my first project alone,” Coria said. “And it was on a surface I wasn’t familiar with.” The corrugated surface of the shipping container created one challenge, and the rust on the 1980s unit – a great example of recycling itself – provided another. You have to prepare that properly, or the mural won’t be a mural anymore in the future.

Born in Nezahualcóyotl, Mexico, she moved with her family to the United States when she was only 4 months old, and she was raised in Atlanta. Coria is in the process of applying for DREAMer status. She plans to prioritize intersectional activism and her Latinx culture in her work.

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