Art classes participate in worldwide project


Cece Giarman

Junior Day El-Wattar sketches a young refugee girl from Syria. When completed, the work will be sent to the child through the Memory Project.

Grace Ainslie, News Editor

Advanced Portfolio and IB Art students started working with the Memory Project, a program dedicated to creating portraits of children from other countries who have faced substantial challenges.

“We have 42 students participating,”  Visual Arts Department Chair Rachel McIntire said. “They have to research the country’s context, so the social, political, cultural aspect of what’s going on in the country, and then specifically what is happening to those youths.”

The project aims to make the children feel valued and important and make sure the children know many people care about their well-being, according to the Memory Project website.

“Watching students with the work has been pretty profound,” McIntire said. “Day El-Wattar sits in the corner and she’s been working on this portrait of a little girl for about three weeks now. She just sits with her, everyone is so careful with it because they want to make sure it looks right for the students.”

Senior Candice Weinman, who has chosen to work with stencils and spray paint, feels pressure to make her portrait of a Haitian boy look realistic.

“Having to be so precise to make the layering of the stencil exactly in place to make his face is really difficult,” Weinman said. “That being said, it’s something that I really enjoy.”

The project has lead to the delivery of more than 100,000 portraits for children in 43 different countries since 2004, according to their website.

I know that it will have a lasting impact on these kids from these foreign countries,” junior Abby Anderson said. “Even though I can’t bring them resources to help them, I can bring them a little bit of happiness.”