Mural brightens Feroleto Center

Clients and staff of the Feroleto Center will have their days get a little brighter soon, thanks to the work of West Hartford student Debra Schwartz.

Schwartz, a senior at SUNY New Paltz, is painting a mural at the center. She began the project in mid-December. When complete, it will span the length of a hallway that connects therapy rooms and office space.

“This started out as a service project for school,” Schwartz said. She needed 40 service hours, a total she says she surpassed “a while ago.”

The mural consists of three panels, each featuring a different outdoor scene, including a farm, an underwater scene and a rolling hillside. Each panel also has features placed at eye level to clients who are typically wheeled to and from therapy sessions in chairs or reclining beds.

“I want the kids here to get a whimsical feeling when they pass this every day,” Schwartz said. “I’m trying to give them a sense of fun and motion.”

In addition to being a colorful painting, the mural, when complete, will feature textures and interactive components like spinning wheels on the painting’s bicycle or mirrors in various locations. The mural also shows children that the Feroleto clients can relate to. The water panel prominently shows a girl in a wheelchair.

“Some of the kids here, their brains process things differently, and I want them to be able to feel and touch it also,” Schwartz said. “I want them to feel like it’s theirs.”