The newest mural at St. Brigid of Kildare School provides a lesson in art, history and conservation.

The newest mural at St. Brigid of Kildare School provides a lesson in art, history and conservation.

Last week, students and visiting artist Amy Yaich finished the mural that transformed a green and crme colored hallway into a colorful representation of Dublin's past, present and future, along with items that will be planted in a garden outside the wall's windows.

Art teacher Larrie Habel said the fourth-, fifth- and seventh-graders who worked on the mural spent a lot of time coming up with ideas for what it would look like.

Yaich visited the school Feb. 22, when the brainstorming began. Habel said the students got some inspiration by looking through the "Dublin's Journey" history book.

"We wanted to incorporate the past, present and future," Habel said. "This place was at one time a farm."

But students also took a look into nature. The mural depicts items that will be planted in the garden just outside the windows and a duck that is nesting outside beneath one of the windows.

"The kids did many, many sketches," Habel said. "They did sketches of plants and vegetables they wanted to see in the garden. There were lots of elements going on in the classroom before the mural started."

The painting began once the weeklong discussions wrapped up, and Yaich said it was difficult getting the students to stop.

"The kids had two and a half weeks of painting," she said. "And of course they wanted to keep painting."

Yaich, who has worked on two other murals and a fabric book with St. Brigid students, said the students took ownership of this project.

"Of all the murals we've done, this by far has been literally their mural step by step, process by process," she said.

"The kids made the decisions," Habel added. "It didn't turn out at all like I thought it would."

The mural also includes some schoolwork from the past. Habel said tiles made by the seventh-graders when they were in the fourth grade have found a home in the mural.

"They were made with the intent to put in Enke Hall, but after the remodeling was done, it didn't seem like the best place," she said.

When the idea of the mural came up, the clay tiles that depict insects, birds, fish and other animals seemed like a natural fit.

Students had to be reigned in a bit, though. Yaich said everything in the mural had to have a purpose. A student's request to include a pineapple was denied because it can't grow in Dublin.

Once the students got to decide what to plant in the garden, they were excited.

"The kids were so excited to plant fruit," Habel said.

While the students worked together and learned about art, Habel said some items sparked discussions. The addition of water led to a long conversation about pollution and conservation.

"That was one of the goals of the project, to teach them about conservation," Habel said.

"We wanted to teach them about healthy decisions, not just for themselves, but for the environment," Yaich said.