Memory Project

This semester, art students at Ames High School joined the Memory Project, a charitable nonprofit organization that invites art teachers and their students to create and donate portraits to youth around the world. These portraits are given to those who have faced substantial challenges, such as neglect, abuse, loss of parents, violence, and extreme poverty. The purpose of the portraits is to provide youth a meaningful mementos and a personal keepsakes. The project also allows art students to practice kindness and global awareness while enhancing their portraiture skills.

I always want to emphasize to students that they should make meaningful art – I want them to make art projects they want to keep or give away as a gift. I also love the idea of incorporating service learning into the classroom.” said art teacher Lindsay Wede.

Students at Ames High School participated as part of Art Club. They received photos of children who are waiting for portraits, and then worked to create the portraits. Once finished, the art was put on display at the Ames Public Library until the middle of May, and then was sent to the Memory Project who will deliver the portraits to the children. The students at Ames High School made portraits for children from Poland.

“I know what time and effort goes into the pieces that students make and for them to willingly give that piece to someone who they don’t even know, means a lot. They understand that these kids aren’t as lucky as they are and they reflected on that a lot as they created the pieces. They did a great job”

The Memory Project is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin. Since the project began in 2004, more than 100,000 American art students have created portraits for children in 44 countries.

Reflecting on the project, Wede said, “The students had such a wonderful experience that they want to do it again next year! I plan on doing it yearly from now on.”