STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — On a storefront at the corner of Richmond Terrace and Jewett Avenue, artist Lina Montoya is perched atop a ladder, painting rays of sunshine over the building’s shuttered window.
The mural’s bright orange and blue colors warm the corner, which crowns streets of tire shops and auto repair garages.
Behind her, cars drive by, honking not out of anger, but acknowledgement. Montoya, 27, waves back, paintbrush in hand.
The corner is already a second home to Montoya: last year, she and dozens of local volunteers kicked off her street beautification project, “La Isla Bonita,” with an installation of 18,000 yellow butterflies on the fence across the street.