WARREN, NJ - For the second year in a row, Watchung Hills Regional High School (WHRHS) Art Teacher Kate Griffin’s Advanced Placement 2D Studio Art class participated in The Memory Project.
“The Memory Project is a charitable nonprofit organization that invites art teachers and their students to create and donate portraits to youth around the world who have faced substantial challenges, such as neglect, abuse, loss of parents, violence, and extreme poverty,” according to the program’s Web site, www.memoryproject.org.
“This year’s WHRHS students created portraits of children from Tanzania, Africa,” Griffin said. “Many of these children have had to leave their homes due to unfortunate circumstances, and as a result don’t have any personal belongings. The portraits were created by the WHRHS students and sent to these children as keepsakes to let them know they are cared about by people all over the world.”
Students at WHRHS each donated $15 in September to participate, and in return received an 8x10 of a student in Tanzania with their name and favorite color. Students were able to create their portraits in any medium they wanted including oil paint, watercolor paint, colored pencil and graphite, and were encouraged to be creative while also creating realistic renderings of each child. When finished, the WHRHS students sent the portraits back to Tanzania, Griffin said.
The Memory Project allows students from WHRHS to recognize the ability of art to connect people from across the world, she said. It also teaches them about the importance of giving back to a community of their peers, and to recognize the challenges they face.
The portraits served as a reward for the AP students and were created after the submission to the Advanced Placement exam was completed in early May.