Blue paint splattered across 8-year-old Eleanor Clermont's legs as she knelt down to trace her large brush over the bumpy street near Hawthorne School. She'd occasionally pause and admire her work or refresh her paint supply, as music blared from nearby speakers.
"They get to get messy!" said her father, Blake Clermont, as he watched Eleanor and her younger sister Colleen contribute to the kaleidoscope flower mural in the intersection of Seventh Street and Fifth Avenue in Rochester's Slatterly Park.
The neighborhood came together Saturday morning as part of an annual tradition organized by the Slatterly Park Neighborhood Association to freshen up the street art.
"We're celebrating our pride in our neighborhood, beauty and fun, togetherness," said Caitlin Doran, the association's president.
The occasion brought dozens of people from inside the community and around Rochester, although numbers dwindled as the sun crept higher and baked the pavement.
Lilly Sundsbak, who is approaching her junior year at John Marshall High School, participated on the suggestion of her art teacher.
"Bringing more colors to the neighborhoods ... It's really enjoyable to see projects like this. It'd be fun to do more, even," Sundsbak said.
Neighbors have been gathering to update the mural since about 2006, said Cathy Clermont, Eleanor's mother and Blake's wife. The family lives in the neighborhood, and Cathy has been spearheading the project for years.
A commissioned artist first brought the blue, red, yellow and white flower to life.
During its annual facelift, participants have to use designated street marking paint, typically reserved for marking fire curbs or lane dividers, so the colors will stick to the pavement. They get creative mixing the shades to achieve a variety of hues for the petals that stretch across the street.
Seven years ago, the city paved over the mural while doing utility work, leaving neighbors there to repaint the image from memory. With its crisp lines and popping color combinations, it's hard to tell the original artwork was ever destroyed.
Apart from being nice to look at, the mural serves as a neighborhood landmark, and even halts traffic.
"People driving over it will slow down," said Cathy Clermont. "You can sit here and watch it on a weekend. It's really funny."