Our latest project is something I’m very excited about–we are participating in The Memory Project. The project begins with us receiving photographs of orphaned children from El Salvador; we then use those photos to create portraits that will be sent back to those children as a gift. There are obviously a lot more details, and if this is something that interests you or your students, I would highly recommend it. Check out the website for the details.
I originally found the project on the Art Ed 2.0 website, and my kids were very interested in taking part. I signed up on their website, which was incredibly easy to do. Ben, the Director of the project, has been very helpful and responsive throughout the entire process; it’s a wonderfully professional and well-run organization. After signing up and registering, the .jpg files of the photographs were available the next day and the actual color photos were received in the mail within 4 days. It was a much quicker turnaround than expected, and it left me very impressed.
As far as the actual drawings go, I only selected my most talented students. I feel like this is something where a quality end product is of utmost importance. This drawing is going to be one of the most valuable possessions these kids will have, and we need to make them spectacular. I hand-picked my best 6 portrait artists, and I’ll be doing one drawing myself. A few graphite drawings, maybe a painting, and a couple of colored pencil drawings. It’s nice that my students are able to select their media; this takes a little bit of pressure off of them because they can work in their comfort zone. I think they have put some pressure on themselves, which I think is fine. They want to do well because these are meaningful drawings, and I have confidence they can live up to their own high expectations.