Hoag Library hosting meet-and-greet with artist Feb. 17

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 February 2023 at 7:52 am

Stacey Kirby Steward has completed several projects at library

Photos by Tom Rivers: Stacey Kirby Steward was up high on scaffolding in the Hoag Library on June 20, 2020, working on a mural of three swans flying over the countryside in Albion.

ALBION – Stacey Kirby Steward’s artwork has been a part of Hoag Library since it opened on July 7, 2012.

On Feb. 17 at 4:30 p.m., the library will host a reception to celebrate Steward’s artwork and give the public a chance to meet the artist, an Albion native who lives in Spencerport.

Stacey Kirby Steward designed a stained-glass window for the library with a swan.

Her first project was designing a stained-glass window featuring a swan, a gift to the new library from Bill Lattin. The window paid homage to the public library’s first 112 years as the Swan Library, in a  former mansion.

The library moved into the new 14,600-square-foot building just over a decade ago. The building is about 2.5 times the size of the former Swan site. It has lots of room for art, and Steward has filled some of those spaces.

In June 2020, she completed a 23-foot-long mural in the Curtis Room at Hoag Library. The library’s main meeting room displays the large painting of three swans soaring over the Albion countryside with the Gaines Basin Road bridge in the background.

The family of the late Marion Moore paid the artist fee for the mural of the swans in flight over Albion. Moore served as director of the Swan Library from 1961 to 1973.

Besides the three swans flying over the Erie Canal, the painting also highlights the farm fields, Lake Ontario and a cobblestone schoolhouse. Steward used a drone to get aerial views of Albion, looking down on the area near the Gaines Basin Road canal bridge.

In her latest project, Kirby painted six paintings of different animals reading well-known books. She showed the animals in their environment, reading the books for inspiration. There are raccoons consulting a cookbook while making a concoction of soup, for example. In another painting, a skunk reads Dale Carnegie’s self-improvement book, How to Win Friends and Influence People.

A grant from the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council (GO ART!) funded the project.

Hoag Library executive director Betty Sue Miller, left, and Stacey Kirby Steward last week hold her painting of a beaver building a dam. The beaver consults “Cathedral” by David Macaulay. In this critically acclaimed book, Macaulay uses pen and ink drawings to show the construction of a great medieval cathedral, the imaginary Cathedral of Chutreaux. It is one of six new paintings created by Steward at the library.