Holley third-graders help create new mural of waterfalls

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 18 June 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Kristina Gabalski – Stacey Kirby shows third-graders at Holley Elementary School where she incorporated their work into a mural of the biome at Holley Falls. The mural was unveiled at the school Wednesday evening and will hang in the third grade hallway at the school.

HOLLEY – The cafeteria at Holley Elementary School was the scene of the unveiling of a very special work of art Wednesday evening.

Local artist Stacey Kirby unveiled a mural of the “Biome at Holley Falls” which she painted in conjunction with students in Karen Quaranto’s third grade class.

These sketches were made by the third grade students, and Stacey Kirby incorporated the artwork into the mural.

This close-up of the mural shows the leaves at the bottom.

The mural depicts the waterfalls with the colors of changing autumn foliage in the background. In the foreground at the bottom of the painting, are leaves scattered in a grassy area. The leaves were drawn by the students during a visit to the park earlier in June and incorporated into the painting by Kirby.

Quaranto says the project was funded by a grant from GO ART! – the Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council.

“The mural project integrated science and social studies,” she said, as well as including art.

Holley third-grader CeCe Farruggia poses with the biome of “The Arctic” which she created with a group of students in her class. The biomes were on display during the unveiling of the Biome at Holley Falls mural which the students created with local artist Stacey Kirby.

In addition to the mural, Laurence Dabney, a former Holley art teacher, helped students to create four dioramas of different biomes – the ocean, the arctic, the rainforest and the desert.

The mural helped students to learn about and experience their own local biome, Quaranto said. A biome is defined as a distinct ecological community of plants and animals living together.

“The kids loved it,” she said of the project.

The project included observational drawing by students at the falls with Kirby, an Albion native. She also visited third-graders at the school to demonstrate her painting techniques and how observation plays a key role in painting realistically.

Kirby says she enjoys working with the students and seeing how they react to the process as well as what facets interest them.

The mural will now hang in the third grade hallway for all to enjoy.

Students in Karen Quaranto’s third grade class at Holley Elementary tell the audience about their project to create a mural with Stacey Kirby of the biome at Holley Falls during an unveiling of the painting Wednesday evening.