Local high school art students and their teachers from 13 Scioto County schools created 33 portraits for children in the Philippines as part of The Memory Project. The portraits were displayed and artists were recognized during the 2019 Visually Literate Art Show Awards Ceremony, at Shawnee State University on May 16.
The Memory Project is a national project that was founded by Ben Schumaker in 2004. It is a unique initiative in which art students create original portraits for children who have been abandoned, orphaned, abused or neglected and who don’t normally have keepsakes of the childhood. The project strives to give them something precious they can keep and to give them a sense of self-worth, knowing that someone cared enough to take the time to create a portrait of them. Local high school art students receive photographs of children who are waiting for portraits, then work in their art classrooms to create the portraits. The portraits are then delivered and a video is sent back to our students of the children receiving their artwork.
The Memory project is coordinated locally by Sharee Price, gifted services coordinator at the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center, in New Boston, Ohio.
“In the past 12 years we have created 297 portraits for children in 11 different countries including Guatemala, Burma, Uganda, Indonesia, Ecuador, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Madagascar, Syria and the Philippines,” Price said.
Thirty-three portraits were created this year by students and teachers from Clay, East, Green, Minford, New Boston, Northwest, Notre Dame, Oak Hill, Portsmouth, South Webster, Valley, West, and Wheelersburg schools. Participants included Alyssa Piccolo, Kirstin Loper, Shay Newsome, Peytan Gaffney, Sacha Lester, Andy Arnett, Ms. Anne Caudill, Mollyanna Grashel, Lexus Oiler, Brandace Pack, Whitney Breech, Riley Galloway, Haleigh Swavel, Rachel Throckmorton, Madison Isaac, Hannah Milani, Millie West, Maddy Conley, Johnnie Mullett, Liberty Richards, Ann Marie Smith, Sydney Chabot, Maddi Green, Kayla Perry, Ms. Kate Claxon, Abbie Copas, Makenzie Howard, Ms. Kelly Montgomery, Sammi Jo Salyer, Madison Williams, Trevor Zimmerman, Savannah Baker, and Gabrielle Deacon.
“Nationally, over 160,000 portraits have been created for children in 47 countries in the past 15 years. This project is an important one, it allows our students to use their artistic talents to make a difference in someone else’s life. I believe our students feel a true connection to the child for whom they are creating a portrait and a sense of accomplishment when they complete it,” Price said.
For more information about the ESC, visit online at www.scoesc.org, or follow on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.