When the outside walls of a building get dirty, it's general practice to spray them down with water in order to wash away the dust and grime. However, Polish artist Adam Niklewicz decided to challenge that norm by creating The Charter Oak. On an average day, this large design cannot be seen, but douse the wall with water and the oak tree quickly comes to life.
Niklewicz used water-repelling Rust-Oleum to create the massive illustration on the side of a former synagogue, located in downtown Hartford. According to the Hartford Courant, the tree is the city's contribution to a Connecticut-wide City Canvas public art program. Niklewicz's mural is inspired by Charles De Wolf Brownell's The Charter Oak painting from 1857. The history of this particular tree is that it grew for centuries on a hill in Connecticut and legend has it that the Charter of 1662 was hidden in the hollowed-out trunk, hence the name.
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, allowing visitors to view the massive, lingering tree across the course of a few hours as the water dries.