By Ako Martin The Tree of Life is a 5- by 8-foot piece of collaborative, permanent artwork that was created in honor of Ms. Eileen Fahrner’s retirement as principal of Kings Beach Elementary in June 2014. As a coordinator for the Art Docent Program at Kings Beach Elementary, I wanted to create a commemorative art piece involving everyone at the school to show appreciation for Ms. Fahrner’s 10 years of service.

With help from Nicole Martin, founder of Truckee’s Kindred Art and Folk Institute, we drew a large swirling tree in acrylic on a loose canvas. Kindergarten to fourth grade students, teachers, and staff participated in this creation. Each student and staff member drew an image or wrote a farewell message on a small circle of colored construction paper, and each color represents a different grade. The colored circles number more than 300.

The Tree of Life artwork symbolizes the sprouting of a seed growing into a trunk and branching off, sending out smaller branches and little twigs to see what they may accomplish. This beautifully represents Ms. Fahrner’s dedication to helping our students grow and learn all they can so they can go on to accomplish great things. Pablo Karls at Pablo’s Gallery and Frame Shop in Tahoe City did a magnificent job framing The Tree of Life, along with poem, Advice from a Tree, that goes with it. The piece is displayed in the main hallway across from our library. Come by and see it!

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