NEW FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Before heading to college, 18-year-old Alison Fagans said she always wanted to do something to leave her mark on her hometown of New Fairfield.
She has certainly done this -- in more ways than one -- by actually leaving her physical mark. She painted a 9-foot-2-inch high by 6-foot-7-inch wide mural on a wall at the New Fairfield Library that leads to the children's department.
The mural shows a girl and boy reading a book. Through the book is a large bubble that contains pictures of many colorful items that the book can be about.
Fagans created the mural as her New Fairfield High School Senior Enrichment Experience, which all seniors must complete in order to graduate.
She first heard about the opportunity to create the mural in November, when New Fairfield First Selectman Susan Chapman contacted New Fairfield High to ask whether any students were interested in the project.
New Fairfield Library had undergone a major renovation last summer and board members were looking to add some color to the bare walls, according to Linda Fox, New Fairfield Library director.
Fagans said she has always had a passion for art and was immediately interested in the project. While in high school, she took studio art and sculpture classes and had created murals for several school productions.
The New Fairfield Library funded Fagans with $200 to create the mural. It took her about two weeks, working five to six hours a day, to complete it.
Each of the items painted in the mural have special significance for her. "I played the saxophone since the sixth grade, I'm very big into fantasy books and hot air balloons are one of my favorite things," she said.
What was most challenging was translating the mural's design from her original paper drawing. "The dimensions of the original drawing weren't the same as the dimensions of the wall so the clouds had to be squashed down," Fagans said.
"The mural is beautiful and I'm very proud of the work Allison did. It's a nice addition to the library," Chapman said.
Fagans will attend Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury in the fall, where she plans to double major in art and physics or mechanical engineering. "I'd like to go into graphic design and create characters for video games or film," she said.
She hopes the mural will "get kids excited about reading and want to come back to the library," Fagans said. "I think all kids should visit their local library to experience reading and where it can take you."
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