It came down to a decision between basketball at Everett High, or taking a serious step towards art – and in a system run by former Coach John Dibiaso, there was no half-way efforts.
So, Kevin Angulo, now 25, made the tough decision to walk away from basketball his senior year and pursue art. It was a decision that is still tough for him to think about, but one that he knows was the right decision.
Now, after having completed three years of studies in the Museum of Fine Arts School at Tufts, Angulo has started sharing his talents with the community he grew up in. His form of sharing comes in colorful murals – most recently on the corner of Coburn and Gladstone Terraces.
There, he has created a nearly 100-yard, colorful landscape mural of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
“I am the youngest of eight siblings and come from a family of immigrants and I wanted to give back using my talents,” he said. “I particularly chose Brazil for this location because I grew up playing soccer and the Brazilian team is pretty much an all-star team. I’ve always followed Brazil and it has a great influence on the city too.”
The scene depicts a variety of activities and vantage points, and Angulo spent the better part of three weeks in September completing the mural and preparing the concrete wall.
“I definitely learned a lot from working on this and benefitted a lot in learning my technique,” he said. “If I were to go to my studio and paint on a regular canvas now, I think I would be a lot quicker than before.”
This is the third mural in Everett for Angulo, with the other two in the Health and Wellness Center and the Recreation Center. He said he was very grateful to Mayor Carlo DeMaria for approving all three murals, and inspiring him to help beautify the city.
That said, he was inspired by his teachers in elementary and high school – including Lyndsay Zaremba at the Lafayette School and Annette LeRay at Everett High.
“Ms. Zaremba was my art teacher at the Lafayette,” he said. “I actually inherited my art from my father. I used to always watch him draw…I would always draw Dragon Ball Z and things like that. For the most part, Ms. Zaremba encouraged me.”
In high school though, Angulo’s main focus was basketball, and he always wanted to play for Coach Dibiaso. His senior year, he had the chance to play varsity, but decided his future lied in art.
“I sacrificed playing varsity basketball my senior year,” he said. “I would have loved to experience the team and the away games and Coach Dibiaso giving a speech at halftime. I look back on it now and I think everyone would be very proud of me because I’m still going. It’s still early and I’m still trying and getting people to believe in my work and inspiring others.”
On the corner of Gladstone and Coburn Terrace, Angulo said he often got people stopping to see what he was doing. Most of the feedback was very positive, and the corner has gone from a dull gray to a bright blue, green and yellow.
The spruce up of the area is something he said is happening all over the city.
“I would hope that this mural and others can continue to grow with the city, especially with what’s going on at Lower Broadway and all the development going on here,” he said.
That brings about an even bigger goal that Angulo said he would like to see in Everett, a non-profit that could be formed to create more murals across the city using home-grown talent like himself – and even bringing in world-class talent from outside.
“It would be great to use the kids and the talent we have here, but I think it can become even more global and we can bring even more notable artists to Everett as well,” he said. “We have a $28 million sculpture of Popeye by Jeff Kuhns sitting in Everett right now. That’s really big. You need to use that to show the kids here how to make art and that there is more than football and basketball. But we need real professional artists on a global level to come here. The sky is really the limit.”
Angulo said he hopes to be able to do another mural in Everett soon, and he encouraged everyone to ride or walk by the Rio mural on Gladstone.