People passing by the Walgreen's build site in Unionville will soon have something more aesthetically pleasing to look at other than construction thanks to some Union School students.
Sixteen third and fourth graders painted a mural swimming with colorful fish designed after fish they researched that live in the Farmington River.
"They all picked fish that are meaningful to them," art teacher Molly Lantagne said.
If you look close enough at the painting, you will see a mosaic of fish shapes in light and darker shades of blue in the background in homage to artist M.C. Escher.
"He was obsessed with the idea of infinity," Lantagne said. "So we talked about how the river is always flowing and generations are coming in and out of Union School."
Many of the students are enrolled in Farmington's Extended Care and Learning after school enrichment program. Group leader Kevin Riendeau helped lead the project efforts. The kids worked on the mural twice a week for an hour each time since the start of September.
He said that the mural and the tessellations represent the broader identity of the school and "its place in the community."
The "fish the kids painted represent the individual in the broader scheme," he added.
"I think it's cool to be able to paint all those beautiful fish," third-grader Nidhi Binoy said. "All sorts of people are going to see them of all generations."
She chose to paint an American eel found in the Farmington River, making it "cartoony" with pink, yellow, blue and other colors of the rainbow.
"The eel was kind of beautiful and simple to draw," she said.
The plywood mural was completed using house paint for colorful fish, a blue background and the tagline that reads "Farmington River always flowing. Generations coming and going."
Union School fourth-grader Jordan Anthony chose to paint a pickerel fish, recalling the time he caught one despite its resistance. He often fishes in Bristol with his family.
While the pickerel in the Farmington River is "greenish brown," according to Anthony, his pickerel is vibrant with gold along the bottom, as well as red and yellow and splattered paint.
"I wanted to make it a little colorful," said Anthony, who enjoyed the project and all of the colors of the painting.
"You could use stuff you never use in regular art class," he said.