LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) -

It's a conversation the community has been having for months: what is compassion?

La Crosse city officials and the La Crosse School district painted a better picture of that Thursday.

They met at the Pump House Regional Arts Center in La Crosse to preview the 6,000 canvases that are now on display, each representing a different idea of compassion.

Students in the district created the artwork.

After months of planning, organizers finally were able to see their ideas come together.

"You know, I don't think we actually knew what it was going to look like until about a week ago. A lot of hands came in to make this happen, and whenever that happens, we bring ideas to the table and we're very happily surprised today," said the district's Supervisor of Fine Arts Steve Michaels.

News 8 will have special coverage on the unveiling of the Compassion Project Friday night during the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts.