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Firefighter Corrin Pumphrey is the Alexandria Fire Department’s resident artist

For nearly 20 years, firefighter Corrin Pumphrey has been the Alexandria Fire Department’s resident artist.

Last month, Pumphrey unveiled a 12-by-six-foot-tall mural of first responders at AFD’s health and wellness Station 202  (213 E. Windsor Avenue) in Del Ray.

The piece includes 12 portraits of AFD personnel who modeled in full regalia for Pumphrey. The mural is painted on four large canvases — just big enough for Pumphrey to move in her car.

“(The department) had a huge wall and they wanted something health and safety oriented,” she said. “That was the challenge, trying to figure out what I could put up there.”

A native of Annapolis, Pumphrey has been an artist all her life and earned a bachelor’s degree in illustration from the Columbus School of Art and Design.

She graduated college at a time that her skillset was largely being converted to digital artwork and after multiple rejections from companies like Disney, she started applying to be a firefighter. Alexandria was the first to respond to her application and she’s been fighting fires in the city ever since.

“I can’t remember how the first person (at AFD) found out I was an artist,” she said. “It’s the same way with every trade. Like, there’s always one (AFD employee) who knows how to do tile work, there’s always a carpenter. So, one person found out and I started making T-shirts and stuff for people.”

One thing led to another and Pumphrey has since contributed art to multiple stations over the years, including a mural at Station 210 at 5225 Eisenhower Avenue and a collage of pencil drawings of every fire station in the city.

She can also be found selling oil and watercolor paintings and her sketches from a booth at Del Ray’s Art On The Avenue festival and other art festivals around the region.

Pumphrey wants to retire after 25 years with the department and then move to Spain to be a full-time artist living on her AFD pension.

“I want to move to Spain to paint,” she said. “That’s the plan. I want to chill. Life is short. I just want to walk to the Mediterranean and look at it and look at the pretty colors, and use their wonderful public transportation to get around and look at other places and just paint them all.”

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