Warwick School District

Warwick High School AP Art Students Moved by Portrait Project

Warwick High School AP Art students participated in “The Memory Project” this year by creating portraits of children in Afghanistan.  

Students were given the choice of materials for this project and were required to try their best to create a likeness to the original photograph they chose and were provided. Each student worked in an 8x10" format and was allowed to do anything they wanted for the background of their artwork. Students selected the child they wanted to do the portrait for just before winter break and were asked to complete it on their own time and finish by the end of the 2nd marking period.  They had a little over a month to complete the portraits. 

Each portrait is sent with a small monetary donation for the non-profit organization's ongoing projects, outreach, and delivery costs. This is the second time AP Art students at the high school have done this project, last year students created portraits of children in Nigeria.   

When asked about what they got out of this project students said it was very rewarding to be part of an amazing organization.  Becca Hoyer explained that one of her main takeaways from participating was just the wonder of how they can reach people on the opposite side of the world solely through art. “It doesn't matter what language or cultural differences there are...art can bring everyone together."

Senior Chloe Nightingale says, "I really wish I could give my child their portrait in person so I could see her reaction, and so I could tell her that she is very pretty and that I loved every moment I spent working on her portrait." 

"Participating in this project made me feel curious and grateful. I wish we knew more about each other, but I hope she enjoys the connection that this portrait brought her as much as I did,” stated Eva Gallagher when talking about her piece.  

Aliyah Gesicki, a senior, said she would like to tell the child whose portrait she created that this is a symbol of friendship even though they live in different countries and have different experiences.

The Memory Project is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting intercultural understanding and kindness between children around the world through school-based art programs.  High school students from around the world create portraits as special gifts for kids facing substantial challenges in struggling countries.  The portraits help the children feel valued and provide them with a special memory for the future.  Since 2004 The Memory Project has coordinated the delivery of 180,000 portraits to children in 55 countries.