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Lodi artist turns Stockton Airport walls into mural

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Posted: Tuesday, September 17, 2002 10:00 pm

The plain white walls of the terminal at the Stockton Municipal Airport looked empty to Anggelyka Apostle.

But to the local artist, who currently lives in Lodi, a bare space like this is like an empty canvas, waiting to be filled.

Apostle has been painting wall-sized murals on the sides of buildings and the insides of restaurants since she was 15.

Recently, however, she has been hard at work at the Stockton Airport, putting the finishing touches on a Sept. 11 memorial mural.

The understated mural, consisting of a United States flag waving in the background, spans the length of three walls in the airport's terminal.

The front view of a Boeing 757 airliner in flight - the same model of plane which was flown into one of the World Trade Center towers - dominates the mural's foreground.

She hopes the mural will be seen as a subtle tribute to Sept. 11.

"I wanted to create something that people will look at and think about, not only as an obvious Sept. 11 memorial," Apostle said. "I just wanted to do something positive."

She landed the job at the airport after traveling around San Joaquin County looking for a large project to work on. Walking into the Stockton Airport, Apostle said she was surprised to find little was being done to record and preserve the airport's history through art.

So she negotiated with Barry Rondinella, the airport's director, and came up with the idea of creating wall-sized murals depicting the airport's military aviation history.

"I'd like to turn the airport into an aviation museum," Apostle said.

To capture the airport's rich history in her work, Apostle spent a great deal of time scouring old books as she researched how to draw the vintage airplanes.

And she has had to raise her own funds for the enormous project.

Private sponsors can make donations in $250 increments. Anyone who sponsors the project will have their name engraved on a bronze plaque which will hang at the airport.

"I'm always looking for sponsors," Apostle said.

In the meantime, her painting goes on - after all, she still has three more murals to complete after she finishes her Sept. 11 memorial.

Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor can call Apostle at 365-0639 to make a donation.

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