The 30 foot tall mural that only reveals itself when wet, was created by Connecticut-based artist Adam Nilewicz. The tree, which is an important symbol for Connecticut, was created using water-repellant Rust-Oleum.
“Public art should embrace the existing environment and work to enrich reality,” writes Niklewicz in his artist statement. ”The blank slates (almost screens) of the two downtown buildings invite visuals that give counterbalance (nature) and meaning (historical context). The image of the Charter Oak speaks to both.”
In order to activate the picture, water must hit the wall directly rather than just trickle down the sides of the building during a passing rain shower. So Niklewicz set up five sprinklers that shoot across the artwork once a day.
Niklewicz’s mural was inspired by Charles De Wolf Brownell’s The Charter Oak painting from 1857.
Photos by Erika Van Natta
The video below documents the public art project: