LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – With all the uncertainty this past year, one art teacher is helping her students through the coronavirus pandemic in a creative way.

Students at St. Cecilia Cathedral School in Omaha, Nebraska, have spent the past few months painting a mural in the style of well known pop artist Romero Britto in an underground tunnel that connects buildings so kids can stay out of the cold and snow during winter.

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The students were going to start the project last year but then the pandemic hit and the underground tunnel was no longer used in order to keep kids socially distanced. They revived the project after in-person classes resumed about a year later.

Art teacher Christine Koehn said the kids had a great time painting the mural, especially at a time where they needed it most.

“In a time where we say, ‘Don’t do this, don’t do that, don’t shake hands, you can’t hug,’ they got to do something they never get to do,” she tells CBS affiliate KMTV.

Koehn says she was inspired by the artist Romero Britto and thought his style was perfect for student artists.

“This is his style. He’s got a really bright vibrant style which really fits well with kids. His style is colorful just like kids are and they’re fun and bright and cheerful,” Koehn says.

Koehn says the mural represents hope, preservation and determination. She’s excited for when the students can look back on it and remember the happy memories of this year instead of the hard memories of the pandemic.

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“The kids are going to come down here, especially our kindergartners and first graders and see their little signatures that they wrote in kindergarten and think gosh remember who we had to wear masks in school and how hard that was and all of a sudden we made it to may so I think it’ll show the strength of our community,” she says.