The sky always should be blue for Mother’s Day, but in Western Pennsylvania, Mother Nature often has other ideas.

And so an art project at South Fayette Township Library commemorating this year’s special day didn’t go exactly as planned.

“Maybe when it’s a sunny day, it really will look colorful all around and the display will look really nice,” art teacher Selva Priya said. “But the weather is not cooperating now.”

Nevertheless, she and her students persisted through alternating sunshine and showers to complete a special installation in time for mom’s special day.

In the patio area outside the library, the youngsters painted larger rocks with bright messages to their mothers. And in the center of the patio, a mural with 350 decorated stones helped mark the annual celebration.

“They’re super happy that they’re able to give back to the community in some way, and they are making people smile with their artwork,” Priya said.

She started the project about a month before Mother’s Day, with her students’ work complemented by members of the South Fayette community, as the library handed out kits for anyone who was interested in contributing.

“It’s amazing,” Nicole Harding, youth services librarian, said. “We really depend so much on the community here at the library, and Priya has been a fabulous partner for us.”

The library project is the latest in a series of service projects undertaken by Priya’s students, from artwork to brighten Valentine’s Day at the UPMC-Hillman Cancer Center to making greeting cards for residents of Vincentian Marian Manor in Pittsburgh’s Banksville neighborhood.

“Art and young children go together,” Priya said. “Every time I do something, I see the happiness from both sides. That keeps me inspired to do more and more projects.”

A two-time Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival recipient, the South Fayette resident is looking forward to the 2021 event, scheduled on a hybrid basis from June 4-13 with live events in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District.

Regarding Mother’s Day, she enjoyed celebrating with her twin daughters, Kavya and Oviya, no matter what the weather.

Multimedia Reporter

Staff writer Harry Funk, a professional journalist for three-plus decades, has been on the staff of The Almanac since 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master of business administration, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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