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Portraits created by Monticello students to travel to Bolivia

Nov. 29, 2016

A group of children in a side by side comparison of the photos of children and completed portraitsBolivia will soon receive portraits of themselves painted by young artists from Monticello High School.

Junior and senior students in Lisa Baisley’s Drawing and Painting 1 & 2 classes spent the last several weeks creating portraits of children from Bolivia as part of a program called, “The Memory Project.” The organization connects art students with children around the world who have experienced trauma, whether through neglect, abuse of extreme poverty. The organization sends participating schools photographs of the children, and the art students work to create a portrait of that child in the medium of their choice. The portrait is then sent to the child as a keepsake.

“It’s a great lesson on the importance of giving back,” Ms. Baisely said. “We have such talented artists here in Monticello High School, and it’s great that they can use that talent to make a little one across the world smile.”

According to organization’s website, “[The Memory Project wants] the portraits to help the children feel valued and important, to know that many people care aboutstudents pose with their completed portraits their well-being, and to act as meaningful pieces of personal history in the future. For the art students, we want this to be an opportunity to creatively practice kindness and global awareness.”

“It felt good to do this,”student Antoinette said. “It was a little nerve-wracking to do because I wanted the portrait to be really good. If it’s a regular class, your work eventually goes into a box somewhere, but this was actually going to a child as a keepsake so I wanted it to be perfect.”

This is the first year that Monticello High School participated in The Memory Project. In addition to the photos of the children, students received each child’s favorite color and information about Bolivian life and demographics.

“It made me happy to do this,” Tabitha, a student, said. “It shed some light on a different culture, and I think the children will be happy to receive the portrait. The children don’t have much, so it’s a nice gesture.”

“When I’m older, I want to be an art teacher,” Antoinette said. “If I do, I will definitely carry this project on.”