Paul Zinni, Superintendent
18 King Street
Norfolk, MA 02056
For Immediate Release
Monday, April 29, 2019
Media Contact: Benjamin Paulin
Email: [email protected]
WRENTHAM — Principal Lisa Mobley and Fine Arts Teacher Shannon Cress are pleased to announce that, for the seventh year in a row, King Philip Regional High School students participated in the Memory Project, creating portraits for disadvantaged children around the world.
The Memory Project is a charitable non-profit organization based in Wisconsin. The group invites art teachers, art students and solo artists to create portraits for children around the world who have gone through traumatic experiences and personal loss. Once completed, the portraits of the children are sent to them, along with a special note from the artist, letting them know that people care about their well-being and providing a unique and special childhood memory. Since 2004, the Memory Project has helped create over 130,000 portraits for children in 47 countries.
“The Memory Project is one of the most important and impactful art projects that we do each year at KPHS,” Cress said. “The students really take it to heart, knowing that there is a little boy or girl out there who could use a boost and something to let them know that they are special and cared about.”
Each year, the staff at The Memory Project choose the countries whose children would benefit most from being a part of the project. This year, the KP students were told they would be creating portraits for Syrian refugees. The Memory Project then mailed photographs of a group of children for visual reference to Cress in the fall and over the next three months the students created a portrait of a child in the medium of their choice.
This year, 21 National Art Honor Society students (juniors and seniors) participated from King Philip Regional High School. The students worked on their projects in art class and at home using drawing pencils, colored pencil, watercolor, ink, and/or acrylic paint to make their portraits.
The completed portraits were sent back with a photo of the student-artist holding up their work, along with a personal note written in the child’s language, as well as a monetary donation to cover the cost of shipping the artwork to the children.
“This project not only serves to put a smile on the face of a young child who is growing up in a refugee camp, but it also provides an avenue to teach our students about empathy and compassion for those who are going through an extremely difficult time on the other side of the world,” Principal Mobley said.
This year’s project culminated with a video recently presented by the Memory Project featuring the artwork done by the KPHS students and the children living in a refugee camp near the Syrian border receiving the finished portraits and their reactions to seeing their faces as works of art.
“It was amazing seeing their faces light up as they looked at their portraits,” Cress said. “I want to commend all of our students who participated in this wonderful and worthwhile project on a job well done and we look forward to participating again next year.”