In the vibrant streets of Asbury Park, a new mural has captured the community’s attention, blending art with a powerful message. Courtney Pastorchick, the talented muralist behind this striking piece, shared her journey and inspiration with the Asbury Park Reporter.

“I grew up in Wall Township and pursued my fine art degree at the University of Tampa,” Courtney began. “During my time there, I had an internship with a mural artist. At first, I was just washing brushes and helping with big areas, but over two years, I learned the craft and eventually started doing murals on my own.”

Returning to her roots, Courtney saw an opportunity to contribute to her hometown’s artistic landscape. “I’ve done another mural in Asbury back in 2021—The Power of Women—in a pop art style,” she explained. “When I got the chance to do another mural here, especially one of the biggest in Asbury, I was thrilled.”

Courtney Pastorchick listens to music and lighthearted podcasts while doing what she loves. Credit: BSB Fotography

Courtney’s latest mural is a testament to her focus on female empowerment. “Most of my work revolves around female empowerment. For this mural, I wanted to blend that message with the diversity of Asbury Park,” she said. The mural features two women with contrasting colors, symbolizing unity in diversity. “I incorporated a porcelain pattern to represent the stereotype of women being fragile, adding a layer of femininity and beauty.”

The muralist hopes viewers will feel seen and empowered by her work. “I want women to feel strong and represented when they see this mural,” Courtney shared. “Even if people just see it as a beautiful piece, that’s fine. But if it makes some feel seen and heard, that’s my main goal.”

Courtney’s art is deeply influenced by other artists. “I draw inspiration from Michael Dargas for my oil paintings and artist Miguel Angel, aka Saturno, for his spray paint techniques,” she revealed. “Combining their influences with my style helped me create this mural.”

Despite the predominantly positive feedback, Courtney has faced some criticism. “I’ve had a few people question why I’m painting a black woman on the wall. It’s disheartening, but I explain that the mural is about unity and complementary opposites,” she said. “It’s meant to be a beautiful, positive thing, not controversial.”

Fine Artist Courtney Pastorchick and Bradley Hoffer finishing up the last touches of the mural. Credit: BSB Fotography

The mural, a collaboration with local artist Bradley Hoffer, began in early March and took nearly a month to complete. “Bradley’s known for his robots and bugs, so we integrated his butterflies into my design,” Courtney explained. “Working with another artist, especially someone as experienced as Bradley, has been a wonderful experience.”

This interview took place on May 24, 2024, and the mural was completed the very next day on May 25, 2024, standing as a testament to Courtney’s dedication and artistic vision. This stunning artwork now graces the east side face of the city-owned Wastewater Treatment Facility on the north end of the boardwalk, adding a splash of color and empowerment to an unexpected location. Directly across from the mural, the seniors at Asbury Tower can now enjoy the vibrant view from their terrace as they sit together outside during the spring and summer months, making their gatherings even more delightful.

Asbury Tower residents enjoy each other’s company and the beautiful mural they have to enjoy. Credit: BSB Fotography

Courtney’s advice to aspiring muralists is simple: “Keep practicing. Start small, learn the techniques, and gradually take on bigger projects. It’s all about persistence and honing your craft.”

While working on her mural, Courtney finds inspiration in music and podcasts. “I listen to Lo-Fi music in the mornings, house music during the day, and lighthearted podcasts in the evening. It makes the long days more enjoyable,” she said.

As her mural now stands complete, Courtney reflects on the journey and the importance of intergenerational collaboration. “Working with Bradley and connecting with the community has been incredibly rewarding. It’s all about learning from each other and growing together.”

Courtney Pastorchick and Bradley Hoffer. Credit: BSB Fotography

Courtney Pastorchick’s Instagram handle is @courtney_makes_art, where she shares her creative journey and upcoming projects. Her website, courtneymakesart.com, showcases her impressive portfolio.

BiBiSaran Bennett, a dedicated educator, advocate, skilled photographer and writer, joins the Asbury Park Reporter as a columnist and photographer. With a background in psychology, special education, media design, and event production, she brings creativity, compassion, and a keen eye for storytelling to her reporting. As the owner of BSB Fotography, founder of ZADF and a committed community leader, she embodies a passion for uplifting her hometown of Asbury Park and illuminating the stories that matter most.

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