Our Lady of Lourdes students started a vegie garden which has led to an unusual art exhibition at Hunter Artisan Gallery

ON EXHIBITION: From left - Evie, Tiana, Theo and Caleb with Stella and Steve at Our Lady of Lourdes School, Tarro. Picture: Simone De Peak.
ON EXHIBITION: From left - Evie, Tiana, Theo and Caleb with Stella and Steve at Our Lady of Lourdes School, Tarro. Picture: Simone De Peak.

Once upon a time there was a lonely scarecrow called Steve who lived in a garden at Tarro.

Steve longed to find his perfect partner and live happily ever after.

Enter 235 young matchmakers from Our Lady of Lourdes school and Steve hooks up with Stella, the girl of his dreams.

Yes it’s a love story like no other and one the school’s students are happy to put their own spin on.

What started out as a school vegetable garden grew into a story of epic proportions documenting tales of thriving silver beat, the detection of strange metal fragments, a love story and an art exhibition.

So proud is Our Lady of Lourdes pastoral care worker Karen Tucker of her students’ work she was boasting about it while visiting Hunter Artisan Gallery recently.

Gallery owner Jenni Nichols was so touched, she offered the gallery to the school for an exhibition later this month.

“We got chatting and I said we could do an exhibition called The Story of Stella and Steve,” Jenni said.

Jenni visited the school and read the students’ stories on how the two scarecrows met.

One of the students told how Steve made a wish to a fairy and received a wishes jar in which he placed his wish for a partner. Sure enough that wish was granted when Stella appeared.

Stella and Steve will be on exhibition from September 19 to 30 along with the stories of how they met, a sculpture children made from metal pieces they found while digging up the vegie garden and cultural yarns, artworks and a selection of works from the school's Creative Arts and English Curriculum.

An official opening will be held on September 22 between 4pm and 6pm. This will be a fund raising event for the school and a silent auction will be held for the sculpture designed by students.

Director of Schools for the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese Dr Michael Slattery will officially open the exhibition.

“This will be the most amazing exhibition and a real boost for the children,” Jenni said. “This is a school that’s on the cusp of Newcastle and Maitland and tends to fall through the cracks.

“A lot of these kids are getting involved in art because they’re not involved in sport and feel a bit disenfranchised  from other kids,” she said.

Karen said the children told some great stories about how Stella and Steve met.

“They just love them so much, even sit on their laps and put their arms around them,” Karen said.

“This was all about connecting children to the garden, introducing them to art, nutrition, health and well being,” she said.

“Not every child wants to do sport so this was a good transition to other things and a confidence builder.”