MARLBOROUGH – When Andrew Fisher tried to decide what to do for his Eagle Scout project, he knew that he wanted to do work to benefit a place that had been important in his life.
Fisher, who will begin studying art education at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in the fall, also wanted his Eagle Scout project to reflect his passion for art.
Ultimately, Fisher decided to paint a mural of characters from various children’s stories and fairy tales in the stairwell at the Cottage Children’s Center, which he had attended when he was younger.
“That stairwell is very intimidating, especially to littler children, so when he chose that I was delighted,” said Cottage Children’s Center Executive Director Marley Couchon. “It has made a huge difference in that space.”
Located on Union Street near Marlborough Hospital, the Children’s Center offers an array of child care programming.
The stairwell walls were originally painted bright yellow, which Fisher said was intimidating for children leaving their parents to go to school.
To make it more welcoming, Fisher and a team of volunteers painted over the walls with characters like Rapunzel, Humpty Dumpty and the seven dwarfs on a blue background.
Fisher stuck to stories that are not copyrighted and are in the public domain.
Following that rule, some of the characters painted are from the book version of “The Wizard of Oz” rather than the movie version, which remains copyrighted.
This caused quite a stir with some of the children, who watched the ongoing progress of the stairwell. Fisher at first painted Dorothy’s iconic ruby-red slippers as silver, the color they are described as in the book.
“The younger children were so smart, they were like ‘That’s Dorothy, but her shoes are the wrong color,’” Fisher said. “So, that was the one thing that I had to change mid-process.”
Couchon said that a lot of the children have already picked out their favorite parts of the mural, identifying all the stories represented on it.
For his project, Fisher also replaced lines of grip tape on the stairs that had been worn out. He additionally had a shadow box custom made for an American flag in the stairwell that had previously flown over the U.S. Capitol Building.
With his work now complete at the Children’s Center, Fisher said that it feels wonderful to be an Eagle Scout.
“I feel a sense of accomplishment because I’ve spent all the years doing all the necessary things to move up in the ranks,” he said.