View all the artwork by clicking on them!
This last year, my Drawing 2 students were given the choice to participate in an unbelieveable project. As a class, we decided to sign up to be a part of The Memory Project. The Memory Project Foundation is a non-profit organization who sends students all around the world photographs of youth in various locations that have been affected by things like poverty, parent loss, neglect, etc. With the photos you are given, students then create a portrait of these youth from across the globe.
24 of my students decided to participate and around 21 of my coworkers students participated as well. Our school (more like me.... haha) raised the money to participate in this project ($15 per person). We were sent photographs from youth living in Bolivia. My students were thrilled to know that their artwork was going to be sent to these kids across the globe.
I talked to my students about the meaning of this project a lot. We talked about what we are blessed to have, and what they may not have. We talked about how love is the ultimate healer. We decided that we wanted each of the kids we were drawing to know their individual worth, their beauty, and their value.
I found that my students began to work harder, because they knew that they were making an impact. They started looking outside of themselves, and started thinking about the child they were drawing. Students were creating portraits that had deep thought, beautiful meaning, and humbling symbolism.
We worked on these portraits for only two weeks. This was SO quick. The students worked hours outside of school to complete the pieces in time for our huge art show that we had decided to put on. We contacted news stations, the newspaper, as well as online journals to inform them of our event. We were so surprised when three different media specialist showed up and filmed our art show.
I am so thrilled and proud of each individual student that participated. I am even more touched by the beautiful notes they wrote to the kids in Bolivia. They were humbling to me, and heart-warming. These Bolivian kids truly do have my students love, and no separation of continent could change that!
In May, each portrait was hand delivered to the kids we drew. We were able to see their reactions, see their living conditions, and see their gratitude. My students were thrilled.
Here are some photos from this experience and journey! (I cannot post any photos of my students themselves...sorry!)