For the past five years, Amity High School students have created portraits for orphaned children through the non-profit organization "The Memory Project".
In the past, Amity has created portraits for children in South American and Asian countries. This year, Amity sent a record 21 portraits to Rwanda, which is in Eastern Africa.
Last fall, the organization sent photos of the orphaned children to Amity, from which 19 students and 2 faculty members created portraits in a variety of media, including acrylic paint, chalk pastels, and digital images. Each unique portrait was packaged in a protective plastic sleeve and labeled with the name and photo of the artist. The portraits will be hand-delivered to the kids by Memory Project staff members on March 30th.
Roughly a month later, the artists will receive photos and videos of the children receiving their portraits. Recently, the videos have also included traditional songs and dances performed by the children, so Amity's artists are very excited about what they might get to see this year!
Each year that Amity has participated in The Memory Project, the required fees have been generously donated by the Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation. Though the number of portraits created has quadrupled over the past four years, the foundation has continued to support Amity's efforts. The Memory Project is a way for Amity to reach out and make a difference for children whose lives are vastly different from their own.
"I can't think of a more meaningful way for our students to share their artistic talents," said Elizabeth Smolinski, the teacher who runs The Memory Project at Amity, with the assistance of studio art teacher Brian Flinn. "Every year, the portraits get more and more beautiful. We can't wait to see the photos of the kids in Rwanda receiving their portraits. It's a feeling that can't be matched."
For more information about The Memory Project or the Jamie A. Hulley Arts Foundation, visit these websites: