FAIRVIEW, W.Va. (WBOY) — The students and staff at Fairview Middle School finally celebrated the reveal of their new long-term collaborative mural on Thursday, but that doesn’t mean it’s finished.

The mural began as a student bottle cap collection in 2018, but it later evolved into a mosaic project collaboration among all grade levels within the school. Due to the pandemic, the art project was put on hold until 2021, when it was officially begun by students.

The Fairview community, as well as communities from other counties and states, came together to donate items to the middle school.

Since 2021, the goal was to get student’s artwork from paper to the mural with bottle caps and container lids.

At the reveal, Sandy Cress, Fairview Middle School art teacher, spoke on the importance of the community’s collaboration on the mural.

“Well, it connects people, it joins people, it creates a sense of communal pride and collaboration. It really brings people together. They’re all proud of this, even just if they just brought the bottle cap, they have some ownership of this, and some pride,” said Cress.

The message behind the mural brings awareness to the local endangered species, such as the rusty patch bumble bee, Cheat Mountain salamander, and the Indiana bat.

(WBOY image)

Students received candy in celebration, as a play on the candy darter fish, that was also featured on the mural.

Cress wanted to imply compositions, dimensions and color, as well as the element of science within the piece of artwork for the students.

Fairview Middle School plans to make this a never-ending project so that upcoming students will have the chance to contribute as well by attaching different interactive elements with the bottle caps and lids and adding different materials in the future.