Students’ mural spotlights wildlife |

Students’ mural spotlights wildlife

Provided to the Tribune

Dan Thrift /Tahoe Daily Tribune/ Gina Calderon Stowell, standing left, and Tahoe Valley Elementary School students created a mural titled A Celebration of Our Forest Home, which is displayed at the school.

Students in Heather Hendrick’s second-grade class at Tahoe Valley Elementary School during the 2005-2006 school year participated in an Elementary Arts Program project starting in May 2006.

The students created a mural titled “A Celebration of Our Forest Home,” which was installed April 2007 at Tahoe Valley Elementary.

The mural represents Mount Tallac, Fallen Leaf Lake, Taylor Creek, Lake Tahoe and all the rich diverse life around us in our mountain forest ecosystem. The students studied Sierra mountain flora and fauna, mammals, birds of prey, life cycle of salmon and more.

Gina Calderon Stowell, Elementary Arts Program president and program director, designed the mural and helped the students translate their studies into clay ceramic bas-relief tiles. The mural was designed to engage the curiosity of children and to encourage them to explore objects and themes that they find interesting and meaningful. The project provides a variety of textures and shapes that appeal to children who can enjoy touching the individual objects. Stowell incorporated her feelings that play leads to discovery.

Students who participated in the mural project are Scotty Carlson, Kira Culp, Gail Ann Dulay, Beau Griffin, Thomas Hansen, Susan Rush, Keigan Shackleton, Allyson Swain, Tatum Whatford and Esmeralda Yanez.

The Elementary Arts Program is a nonprofit fine arts program that reaches the Lake Tahoe Unified Elementary Schools and St. Theresa School.