Girls INCrescendo Celebrates Wishes and Wonder

Local artist Holly Payne-Strange uses origami to teach girls life lessons at Girls Inc. of Lynn.


Nahant native and artist extraordinaire Holly Payne-Strange joined in at Girls Inc. of Lynn’s Fun Fridays using art and storytelling to teach the girls the craft of origami and a few life lessons.  The writer, director, visual artist, and milliner learned about Girls Inc. from her mother Wendy, a past President of the The Nahant Woman's Club, an avid supporter of Girls Inc. of Lynn. “They do an annual Girls Inc. cookout that I’ve helped with a few times, always a lot of fun!” says Payne-Strange.

Girls Inc. supporter Barbara Schaye met Holly and was enamored with her artwork and thought about purchasing a piece for Girls Inc. “I could buy a painting from Holly or commission her to do a project with the girls.  She is such a good role model and I thought the girls would have a good time working on an art project,” notes Schaye.

The piece, entitled Girls INCrescendo is a stylized phoenix, with the girls' cranes that they made representing the head and neck and the wings illustrating the wings of support and protection of Girls Inc. It is based on a legend, that if you make 1,000 cranes, you get a wish. “I loved that idea, and I made my first, a lot larger than the Girls Inc. one (7 ft!). It is such a hopeful and creative message I was very excited when Barbara suggested bringing it to Girls Inc.,” says Payne-Strange.

“It was such a wonderful experience! I taught the girls how to make various origami such as flowers, kittens, fish and of course cranes! I also had plain white cranes for them to decorate if they so choose. All the ones the girls made or decorated are down the middle of my piece,” says Payne-Strange. Her hope for people viewing INCrescendo, “I would love if they felt hope, interest, and fascination. Personally, I find that it’s the kind of thing you can look at for a long time, looking at all the different cranes and I hope that others see that too. This piece is a testimony to how much can be achieved when we believe and support each other,” she adds.

“A huge thank you to Barbara Schaye for introducing us to Holly and sponsoring such a beautiful project. INCrescendo is a tribute to the power of combining art and heart. It is a lovely lesson for all to enjoy when visiting Girls Inc. of Lynn,” says executive director Ansourlian.

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