Now You See It, Now You Don’t: Rain Activated Art

On a brick wall of an abandoned synagogue in Hartford, Connecticut, there is a new gorgeous mural that comes and goes with the rain. The image of the oak tree, which is a symbol of American Independence from a famous painting called The Charter Oak by Charles DeWolf Brownell, appears when the bricks get wet and disappears when the brick dries. The tree, designed by Adam Nilewicz, is 30 feet tall and 45 feet wide and was created by weather treating all of the brick surrounding the desired image.


Nilewicz and his assistant J.D. Richey prevented the image of the oak tree from receiving the weather proofing treatment by gluing enormous rubber stamp pieces in the shape of the tree to the wall before spraying it. The mural’s makers don’t rely solely on the rain to bring their creation to life. It is also equipped with two lawn sprinkler systems that turn on for 20 minutes every day around 3pm and can last all night if the humidity is right. All photographs taken by Erika Van Natta.


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