CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Laura Wopperer is the owner of Latography, a portrait studio in Charlotte. And like many people, she was looking for a way to make a difference in her community during such a tough time.
“I thought what can I do with my skill that would touch on a hot topic and maybe help people," Wopperer said.
So Laura started the "mask with me" project.
“It was kinda a brainchild of mine that came from spending a lot of time at home and not in my studio as much as I would like to be. And also just wanting to find a way to use my voice to make an impact given the current environment,” said Wopperer.
The mask with me project is meant to show that one small act, like wearing a mask, can make a big difference. And for Wopperer, it’s personal.
“I’m immunocompromised myself and I have children. I have a father who is immunocompromised and I have a 93-year-old grandmother," Wopperer said. "I think there is definitely a health aspect of it for me. I’m also a business owner. My business has been affected like a lot of other business owners have."
Wopperer said the project started with 24 people, but that number has since doubled.
“I kinda thought certainly it could grow, but maybe I could launch this little portrait exhibit, a cool way for people to look at some art maybe have a nice strong message to go along with it," she said. "Do something good for my community. And I think that was about three weeks ago and we’ve doubled the number of people in the exhibit since then."
And the exhibit has grown to include business owners and leaders across the charlotte community who are also committed to wearing a mask.
“I need people that Charlotteans or folks in our city will look at, recognize and say “oh, well if they’re willing to do it and put their image out there with a face mask on, then maybe I should also do it,” Wopperer said.
She said people are continuing to reach out to her, wanting to be a part of the project.
“People are still interested in it and I think that speaks to the climate. I think that speaks to the passion around masking," Wopperer said.