This year, Mrs. Nicki Barsamian’s 8th Grade Mixed Media Class at KS Maui participated in an international service-learning project known as the Memory Project. The Memory Project is a nonprofit organization that invites art teachers and their students to raise money and create portraits for youth around the world who have faced substantial challenges, such as neglect, abuse, loss of parents, and extreme poverty. The portraits help the children feel valued and important.
The class received 15 photographs of children from the Philippines. Students in the 8th Grade Mixed Media spent weeks creating a chalk pastel portrait of each child. The portraits were then sent to the children in the Philippines, and in return the class received a video of the children receiving their work. The children were so excited to receive the artwork and very touched by the efforts to create such special gifts. The children live in extremely marginalized conditions, so to receive portraits made just for them was truly a unique experience for all.
Finally, in addition to creating these portraits the students raised over $400 to donate to the children. This contribution went to support nutritional programs for the children! A deep mahalo for all who supported our haumāna in their efforts.
Through work like this, we are building a kinder world one portrait at a time and creating many cherished memories along the way.
by Kumu Barsamian